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Susan Lankey Shares Her Vision as the New 2018-2019 SDA National President

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Updated: Thursday, June 7, 2018

During the 2018 SDA Annual Meeting, Susan Lankey, CDFA from the Hampton Roads Chapter, was elected as the 2018-2019 SDA National President. During the Saturday evening awards banquet, Susan shared her perspective for the coming term and we have shared it here for those who could not be in attendance.

Hi Everyone!  First I just want to say thanks for being here in Salt Lake City at EDSymposium18.  I really hope everyone has had a great time the last couple of days and learned a lot.  And if you didn’t learn anything (which I doubt) I hope that y’all made some new friends, and were able to connect with some old ones. 


I’m sure over the course of EDS, everyone who has been around me, knows that this guy is my pride and joy!  While I know he’s not a two legged baby, he’s definitely my favorite four legged one.  I hate to admit this, but do y’all know I’m 40?  Quick sidebar here – I recently read Stacy Rowland’s idea for big birthdays for Ellie in NY & she was saying that you should do something totally memorable for those.  Like travel to places you’ve never been.  I really love that idea & am probably going to steal it Stacy. – Ok, I’m telling y’all how old I am for a reason – not just for the compliments on how I don’t look anywhere near my age later once I get down from this stage!  Anyways, I’ve been around horses and have been riding pretty much all my life.  I’ve had good days, bad days & great days with all my babies – not just Oakie (although, I mean isn’t he adorable???).   I still ride with an instructor.  30 years later, I still have a coach when I’m working my horse.  I come from a large family, and I gotta say, when they’re always asking me “As long as you’ve been riding, you still don’t know how??” gets pretty old.  Thankfully, I just roll my eyes at them, and say – Don’t Olympians still have coaches????  For like every aspect of it???  And why wouldn’t I want to learn new styles and different ways of communicating with Oakie.  We’re always trying to be better and have better rhythm together.

But it always makes me think about things, especially those I spend my money on.  Pretty much all my money!  Horses aren’t hobby for me, they’re my life.  It’s my go to when I’ve had a rough day at the office, or even a great day at the office.  It’s my me time (I hope all of you get some me time!!), and it’s what relaxes me and as my husband says, it’s what keeps me pleasant to be around.  I mean, personally I like to think I’m pleasant all the time, but…..he probably knows better.

Y’all are probably wondering where I’m going with this.  My point is – I’m pretty passionate about the things I love to do.  I love my riding, and so I do whatever I can to make it happen, and I try to do whatever I can to make it happen well.  Of course, that doesn’t happen every time, but I just remind myself that next time will be better.  It’s the same for work.  I love my job – no way I could still be there almost 22 years later if I didn’t.  Have good days, and have bad days.   Really hope that people don’t know when I’m having a bad day at the office, but if they do, they’re usually understanding about it.  It’s the same for SDA.  I love being in SDA.  I love serving SDA.  I hope I’m as passionate as I feel about it.  I know that every time I’ve left EDS, I’ve felt renewed, and ready to tackle the world!!  The A/E world anyways.  That’s because of y’all.  Y’all are the reason I love SDA and the reason why I want to continue to serve.  You all are the passion behind SDA.  As Monica said, SDA allows us to Create Our Path.  Broaden our horizons.  Learn new things.  Sabrina reminded us that We’re the Experts.  Yes.  Yes we are!  And if you’re not an expert in an area, I bet you’ve met someone here this week that is, or at least someone who knows of another expert.  Just like with my instructors, I’m always striving to get better, be quicker, make smarter decisions in every movement.  Excellence.  It’s what we work towards – in everything.  Me with my riding, Carrie, Betsy and Nancy with their knitting, Judy with her jewelry making, and Anne with her writing.   

We’re always working to be better.  If we weren’t, we wouldn’t be here tonight.  Be passionate in everything you do!  Look around this room – what do you see?  I see people who want to make a difference in their lives, their firms that they work for, and their friends in this room.  Y’all.  This is a safe space – let’s take this outside our comfort zones!  Let’s make a difference to everyone we meet – let them see how passionate we are about SDA.  Let’s really grow this organization!  Because we can! Let them know that this is what WE strive for – Excellence – Let’s have some Passion for Excellence.  As in the movie “Field of Dreams” with a slight twist, if we show them SDA’s excellence, they will come! 


Susan Lankey, CDFA
2018-2019 SDA National President

Tags:  EDS18  Leadership; SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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