Susan Haning CEM, CMP, Industry Relationships Director, Freeman
Hometown: Shinnston, WV
University of Education: West Virginia University
How long have you been an IAEE member? 23 years
IAEE Chapter: DC Chapter
How did you start your career in this industry?
I was in a local DC well known venue (bar) in the late 80’s called Rumors and met a dashing man who
worked for Andrews-Bartlett. I loved that he traveled, and the industry sounded SO exciting. I was in
retail at the time working long hours with little pay and little respect, so I decided to apply for a position
with his organization. The job lasted a long longer than the relationship did for sure. 🙂
How has IAEE shaped your career?
IAEE (NAEM at the time) was one of the first Industry Associations I decided to join, and it was the start
of a wonderful partnership. I met so many amazing mentors with so much history and knowledge and
the local DC Chapter hosted “MUST ATTEND” education events.
What advice would you give to a new member?
Volunteer! Volunteer! Volunteer! I didn’t know hardly anyone when I first joined IAEE so I volunteered
to be the one who greeted attendees at the registration desk and sold either 50/50 or raffle tickets for
the event. This was MY way of meeting new people and learning their names and recognizing their
faces easily AND it worked. They became familiar fast and so did I to them
Fun fact about you – What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
Most people KNOW I love my WVU Mountaineers and any of the professional Pittsburgh teams
(Steelers, Pirates and Penguins) because they know I’m from WV, HOWEVER, I was born in DC. My
parents both worked at Walter Reed Army Hospital and we lived in the DC area until I was 5 years old.
We only moved to WV when my father went civilian and decided to go from a Biochemist to a Dentist
and WVU had the program he wanted to attend. Upon graduation the WV family & local business
owners persuaded him to open up a Dental practice in my Mother’s hometown of Shinnston, WV.
THUS, my love of WV and all things that make it Almost Heaven WV!
What community service projects do you like to be involved in? Why?
I have a special passion for philanthropies and helping others. I was raised that you never take for
granted what you have and that you should ALWAYS help out a person in need when you have the
means and ways to do so. Several years ago, in the DC IAEE chapter I helped start a charity project
where we did a “Secret Santa” holiday program with the Arlington County Secret Santa organization.
The chapter hosted the holiday event and we took donations of presents and gift cards and donated
them to one family or more depending on how much we collected. I remember our first event collecting
at least 3 to 4 carloads of presents. Several times we used Freeman trucks to deliver items because the
volume was so large. The joy disbelief on the faces of the mothers and children when we arrived and
began carrying in present after present was so humbling that it made us all teary
What do you like most about Expo! Expo!?
I LOVE seeing friends from years past and meeting new lifelong ones. Expo! Expo! is such a great
networking event where old and new come together in one vibrant place each year (forget COVID) to
learn new things and revisit old. This is the hi-light of and always the beginning of my holiday season. I
mean come on, Expo! Expo! and then Santa!! What can be better?