I met Gussie Fava, our incredible New Orleans Ambassador, back when she lived in NYC. As a friend of a friend we hung in similar circles but right when we all started getting closer she moved away. Flash forward 4 years I get a message from Gussie on Facebook about launching a New Orleans chapter and as serendipity will have it, I already had a trip planned for that spring to NOLA. In April 2016 we launched our 4th chapter of Six Degrees Society and have since hosted Curated Dinners, Calligraphy Classes, Mixology 101 events and have an upcoming Adult Coloring & Wine Event. Read on to learn more about Gussie and how she's brought together a group of extraordinary women in New Orleans.
1. Gussie, you've been an amazing ambassador and we are going to miss you during your maternity leave! How have you found the balance to work full-time, be a wife, grow a baby and run such an amazing chapter?
I find that organization and prioritization are key when you have a full plate - whether at work or at home. I like to take time on Sunday afternoon to review my schedule and plan ahead for the week, so I know about any early or late work meetings, dinner plans with friends, or date night opportunities with my husband. I also make sure to schedule any housekeeping items or Six Degrees planning time into weeknight evenings to ensure they get done.
2. You've done a kick-ass job being the NOLA Ambassador! What prompted you to reach out and be a part of the SDS team? What does being a part of SDS mean to you?
Being apart of the SDS team has been so amazing and I'm going to miss it so much on maternity leave! I was really inspired by Emily's story and believe wholeheartedly in the concept. Running the NOLA events and meeting such amazing women has been such a highlight for me this past year. I feel great knowing I'm apart of an organization that really wants to connect and empower women, while also having a lot of fun and trying new things.
3. What are three things you love the most about NOLA?
The city itself is a big one - I love the different neighborhoods and how they each have something unique to offer. Definitely the culture, including the food, drinks, and music. And my experience in New Orleans wouldn't be the same without the friends I've made down here; they really make my time here much better and more fun!
4. As a NOLA transplant, what's been the best thing about moving to a new city?
I've been a transplant to many cities before, including Charleston, Chicago, and New York, so adjusting to a big move isn't anything new to me! The best thing about moving to a new city is that you get a clean slate. You get the opportunity to handpick your experience and define what your life is going to be like while you're there - from big things like your house, job, and friends, down to the small things like your regular coffeehouse or bar.
5. If you had to impart career and life advice to a college graduate, what would you tell him/her?
Take the time to really think about what you want and need, then make your decisions based on that. You're in a very rare time in your life where you get to be incredibly selfish in your decisions, so take advantage. Move to a city where you've always wanted to live, apply for your dream job, and take opportunities head-on as they arise. You also always have control over the type of person you are, so work hard, be respectful, and be kind to others - those qualities are irreplaceable.
As Gussie takes her maternity leave we are excited to announce that Dr. Sarena Teng will step in as our New Orleans ambassador and will be debuting as ambassador at our upcoming Blurred Lines: Adult Coloring + Wine event at Riverbend Collective on August 25th. Tickets are limited, learn more and grab yours here.