Abby Eastman, Director, Events & Communications, had her company role pivot with COVID-19. For the past few months, her focus has been on helping SDIs clients, including the Sea Service Leadership Association and Mary Furlong & Associates, transition their large in-person events for 2020 to virtual formats, all while mapping out long-term strategy.

Abby joined SDI with a decade of experience in the events industry, most recently with the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), managing their annual meeting with more than 2,500 attendees. Previous event work with high-profile events such as the White House Correspondents’ Association Annual Dinner and The National Prayer Breakfast helped prepare her for anything. Abby is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), which is a designation recognized globally as the badge of excellence in the events industry.

Through remote team events, SDI colleagues were surprised and delighted to discover her hidden talent as a mixologist and her impressive artistic abilities.

Here is more about Abby:

What drove your interest in events?

I have always had a passion for events and a knack for logistics. I’m super detail oriented. Planning an event is like putting together a million different pieces to form a puzzle and I love that. Seeing all your hard work come to fruition and how it positively impacts the attendees, speakers and sponsors make it all worth it.

What’s the most inspiring news story you’ve seen during Covid19?

I appreciate the stories that demonstrate how this pandemic has brought us together as an even stronger community, rather than isolating one another. The random acts of kindness amongst neighbors warm my heart and show that in a crisis we can rely on one another to be a kind person. We get so wrapped up in our chaotic lives that often we forget to take a moment and take stock of what is going on around us. I hope as we come out of this, we will be more inclined to run an errand for a neighbor, mow their lawn, or donate pantry items to those less fortunate.

What is your favorite place to visit, and why?

This is going to sound super corny, but I love visiting my parents’ house where I grew up. Something about being home brings me comfort and great memories with my family. Also, my Mom is a great cook, so there’s that!

What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever received?

Take things a day at a time. It’s not productive to project or play the what if game. Live in the moment and be present. That’s what matters.

How do you get your news and stay informed?

I really enjoy The Skimm. It delivers daily highlights of world events in a lighthearted way that’s easy to read and relevant to the topics you’re interested in.

How do you define success?

I think discovering your passion and finding a career that you love is what makes you successful. It’s not about money, or titles, but about finding a career that truly brings you joy day to day and allows you to keep true to yourself.