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What SDA Means to Me

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What comes to mind when you think about SDA? For me, it's education programs, conferences, networking, and people.  Mostly people.  Do you know how many people I have met through SDA?  More than I ever thought when I joined.  I figured I’d go to my first chapter program, sit in the back, hide and take notes (if it was worth it).  I laugh now at how naïve I was back then, thinking that I could be invisible in this organization.  First program ever, and everyone in the room came over and introduced themselves to me.  Really, the nicest group of people I’d ever met.  Never in my dealings with SDA have I felt awkward, or invisible.  Each of you, whether you were in my chapter or a member that I met during my membership have made an impact on my career.  I’ve been invited to other meetings, through work, and also through my personal life, and have never gotten the same reaction.  I love it.  As for my first program, it was so enticing and informative, that I never once questioned going to another one.   Oh, don’t get me wrong, sometimes I’ve wondered whether a program or convention really applied to me and my career, but I went even with that little nagging doubt that I could be wasting my time, and my firm’s money.  However, that little nagging doubt has ALWAYS been wrong.  I’ve very fortunately been able to bring something back to my firm, no matter the subject.  LOL, which is great, because it means that my boss keeps sending me! 

I’m grateful to SDA for providing me with the tools to stay current in my profession, and the individuals I can call up and ask for help when I’m stumped.  (Which has happened more than I’d like to admit at times!!)  The most wonderful thing though – everyone that I have ever called or emailed, has made themselves available to me and if for any reason they haven’t been able to answer my question, they just pointed me to someone who could.  What a great gift.  So really, what does SDA mean to me?  Our members.  Because really, there’s no way any other organization has members as awesome as ours!!!  (I mean, I guess they can, but I doubt it!)  Thanks to everyone for making this an organization that I truly feel that I belong to, and for allowing me to express my thoughts on it. 

Sooooo…….how about yall?? What does SDA mean to you??  I’d love to know!  Plus, your input would be a great way to help start conversations with non-members!  Lol, yes, I’m always needing topics to start, so help a member out and let me know what SDA means to you in the comment box below!



Susan Lankey, CDFA, is the Office Manager for DJG, Inc. in Williamsburg, Virginia.

 She currently serves as the SDA National President-Elect for the 2017-2018 term.

Tags:  Membership  New Members  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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SDA Welcomes New Members

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 2, 2017

We are pleased to welcome our newest members who have recently joined SDA:

First Name Last Name Chapter
Diane Arnold San Diego
Samantha Califano New York
Chrisandrea Clark Atlanta
Karen Ellison New York
Aileen Roberts Dallas
Steffany Romero New York
Charla Roth New York
Caroline Turner Member-at-Large


Be sure to connect with your fellow SDA Members on our SocialLink platform.

Not a member? Click here to join today. You can also check out this video to learn more about opportunities that SDA membership can offer for you and your firm.

Tags:  New Members  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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Panic or Perspective

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 27, 2017

SDA National Executive Director, Stephanie Kirschner, CDFA, shares some thoughts about panic and perspective after an early-morning power outage.

Be sure to share your comment below.

Tags:  Don't Panic  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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To Do or Not To Do.... Lists!

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 20, 2017




Whenever I see an article about organizing your workday, I read it.  I am always looking for new and better ways to remind myself, organize myself, clean up myself and am still looking for the perfect solution.

One of the topics always covered in these articles is the TO DO list.  I love To Do Lists, and have tried many times to organize myself with them.  Daily distractions are the bane of organization, and To Do Lists are the key to overcome this.  I asked people in varying positions in my office and found that everyone in fact uses To Do Lists, but in different ways:

Typed To Do Lists  
I have a Word version set up as a table with a column to check off when an item is done.  The advantage to this (or similar in Excel) is that you can sort and resort depending on your changing priorities.  Sometimes I print these out in different colored paper to catch my eye or to make a priority list for a specific topic or project; or on card stock vs. paper.  I have also color-coded items to set priorities.

I’ve used special notebooks to keep my To Do list so that I can always grab it when I need it.

The iPhone has built in apps for “Notes” and “Reminders”.  Since we always have our phones, we can access our To Do lists easily from anywhere.

I’ve used Outlook Tasks; and I have also put “to do” items on my calendar so they pop up as a reminder.  If you share your calendar with others, the key here is to mark the calendar time to show the listed task time as “free” not “busy”.

Post Its

One of my principals uses a To Do list but uses Post-its as a triage tool, so that those specific individual items get done the same day and he can throw away the Post-it.

Index Cards
We have card stock cut into index-card size, with our logo and a grid on it.  Another of my principals uses these so he can carry it in his jacket pocket when he goes out of the office or works from home.  This same principal tells me he sometimes adds a completed task onto his list just to get the psychic boost of then crossing it right off!

One More – A Great Idea

I recently read an article that made a lot of sense to me.  Most of the articles on To Do lists talk about having a list and giving the items rankings so they are prioritized.  I often think EVERYTHING on my To Do List is a priority, so that doesn’t work so well for me.  However, this article made the case for a To Do List each day with only TWO items on it.  The items should be chosen because (1) they have been put off and are now weighing on you, or (2) accomplishing it will create a sense of happiness in achieving a goal.  I agree with the first reason, since I am a great believer in guilt as a motivator.  I would be concerned about the second reason, since many unimportant things can create happiness but not accomplish things that really need to be done.   I have taken this advice, however, and each day I put a short list on a Post-it of 3 to 5 items , depending on how big the tasks are.  I hang the Post-it at the bottom of my monitor so it is always visible throughout the day.  This doesn’t eliminate my overall very large To Do list, since you can go to that if you complete your top 3.  BUT, you need to put a laser focus on those 3 to 5 items.  We all wear many hats, and it’s too easy to be diverted by someone showing up at your desk or choosing a quick little set of tasks to feel something has been completed, but effectively taking time away from the big ones.

Stephanie Kirschner, our Executive Director, presented a webinar very recently that touched on some of the above, but also include valuable tips on determining your productive time of day, productivity software, and maintaining perspective.  You can access the recorded program here.

What do you do to keep yourself organized and performing?   Share them in the comment box below. I’m always happy to get more ideas.



Pat Leyden, CDFA is the Vice President, Facility Security Officer for WSP in New York.

 She serves as the 2017-2018 SDA National Treasurer 

Tags:  Organized  SDA  Society for Design Administration  To Do List 

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SDA National President Message - July 2017

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 12, 2017

It's a new term and our 2017-2018 SDA National President, Sabrina Heard, CDFA is taking a new approach to her monthly President's Message. See what Sabrina shares as she debuts her new message format using video. We're trying hard to use more technology here at SDA and this is just another example of our initial efforts to advance that process.

We look forward to your comments.  Be sure to share them in the comment section below. 

Tags:  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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