Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Just HOW did I get here?

So, now that I’ve told you a little about who I am, I’ll tell you about how I got here.

I have a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Boston College and a Master’s in Educational Media and Technology from BC hockey rival Boston University. I spent 10+ years working for other people in the fields of technical support and educational software design.

I’ve been in business for myself more than ten years and it is all my husband’s fault.

It was the roaring ‘90’s and we were both working as contractors. My contract position with a local university came to an unexpectedly abrupt end due to funding issues (ain’t that always the way in academe?). It was November, and while I had some resum├ęs out, no one was in a rush to hire. I drowned my sorrows by making homemade Christmas gifts and teaching myself HTML. I had heard this thing called the Internet was about to take off.

I’m a co-founder of NOAH, a national non-profit that supports people with albinism and their families. I practiced my new found skills creating a web site for the organization.

One night as I was chirping about how much fun I was having, when my husband pointed out that people would pay me to create web sites for them my web design business, Fearless Media was born.

I picked non-profits and small businesses as my target audience because I liked working with decision makers and feeling like I was making a difference. I was fortunate to be able to build a thriving business. By the time my daughter was born, I was able to cut my hours to half time.

I continued my work with NOAH, but now, I was working as local coordinator for their national conference that was being held in Boston. I was responsible for finding a hotel, local speakers and arranging child care for 150 kids ages birth through 15.

After a while, I couldn’t keep up with whirlwind pace of web technology working only half time. I had a decision to make; go back to work full time, or change careers. My daughter was barely two, and I was fortunate to have the flexibility, to start over from scratch.

By then, I was volunteering as National Conference Chair for NOAH and had lead the planning team for a conference held in California. Event planning seemed to be a natural choice my event planning company Fearless Events was born.

I was talking with Jill Whalen, a colleauge from my web design days when my first event came to be. Jill is an expert in the field of optimizing web sites for the search engines. She has a very successful practice and a weekly newsletter with over 20,000 subscribers where she gives away tons of information for free. I asked her if she’d ever considered offering seminars. I was sure that people would pay to hear her speak. She thought the idea sounded like fun, but too much work to organize and execute. We formed a partnership and the first High Rankings Search Marketing Seminar was held in November of 2002. It started out with just Jill presenting for 1/2 a day and has evolved into a two day seminar featuring a roster of as many as six speakers.

So, that’s where I am today. This year we are planning 3 High Rankings Search Marketing Events, Minneapolis, Denver and London. I am also enjoying my second stint as Event Manager for the Granite State Human Resources Conference.

I love what I do, it is challenging and flexible, a perfect combination for me!