Trade Show Leader: Wyndham Jade's Sue Trizila
Sue Trizila is president and CEO of Wyndham Jade and joined the company in 1994, growing it from a $20 million entity to a $140 million enterprise, employing 110 employees. Trizila began her nearly 50-year career with Eastern Airlines and has since worked for both public and private travel-related companies.
Before joining Wyndham Jade, Trizila worked for CUC Travel Services, where she launched a private label vacation product line serving millions of travel club members. Prior to CUC, She founded and owned ProTrav, an international vacation wholesaler. TSNN interviewed Trizila about her time in the trade show industry and the lessons she’s learned along the way.
TSNN: What are some of the lessons you have learned being a part of this industry?
Sue Trizila: Human nature trumps logic … nearly every time. Appreciate the technology and the data it provides – but don’t let it eclipse what your customer is telling you. Listen and learn. The customers we serve are the experts in their profession. They know their business and are committed to delivering quality to their members, their attendees, their boards, their suppliers and their teams. Focus on what is important to them – not what is important to you.
TSNN: What is your favorite part of being in the industry?
Sue Trizila: I enjoy being a part of an industry that is so strong, so vibrant and yet is truly a “People Business.” With every world event, new technology innovation or generational shift, there are still some who question the importance or durability of the traditional trade show, convention or meeting. It’s so gratifying to see our industry stand strong and prove them wrong.
Additionally, I love that our industry continues to offer tremendous career opportunities. As long as you have the desire, the energy and the determination, you can literally do just about anything in our industry you want to do.
TSNN: Anything you miss that you wish was still around?
Sue Truzila: Yes, more time. With all of the efficiencies and innovations we now enjoy, many organizations have scaled back on staffing. Combine that with the speed and ease of online connections, and we sometimes forgo the benefits of one-on-one conversations for saving time. I miss the days when we learned about a person and their business in face-to-face meetings. It’s not the same when you just check a person’s LinkedIn or Facebook profile and never really get to know them. Unfortunately, meetings take time, and time is so scarce these days.
TSNN: Anything you are thrilled that went away?
Sue Trizila: Yes! Big, bulky servers! Having to use them on-site was anything but easy. Just managing the logistics was a nightmare. Remember the day when the size of your server room was a direct reflection on the size and strength of your company? No office tour was complete without seeing the massive server room. Thus, I am a big fan of the cloud.
TSNN: What do you hope your personal impact on the industry is?
Sue Trizila: I don’t think I’ve had much of an impact on the industry as a whole. Yet I do hope I’ve had an impact on the people I have had the chance to work with over the years. Relationships really do matter. People will always want to do business with people they like and respect. I am of the belief that in this business, a client will decide to work with a person before they decide on the company that person represents. I hope I have been that person.
Too, I hope I have demonstrated the importance of doing “the right thing”. That may not always mean doing things for the betterment of the bottom-line but doing what is in the best interest of our customers, our employees and our industry.
TSNN: Any wise words about what this industry means to you overall?
Sue Trizila: Professionally, it means everything. It has afforded me a long and fulfilling career, surrounded by some of the best, most talented individuals in the business world. I’m proud to lead an incredible Wyndham Jade team that has contributed so much to our industry. The friendships I’ve made over the years and enjoy today are priceless.
Sue’s Closing statement
As has been proven time and again, our industry will continue to evolve and change with the generations. And no matter what, it will remain strong. The impact of trade shows, conventions and meetings are how relationships are forged, and through travel we learn, grow and gain new understanding of how different we may seem but how, as people, we share similar hopes and dreams. This will always be a people business.