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Meet a Member: Jeff Stuhr

SGMP is sharing this member profile submitted by the SGMP Northern Lights chapter, so we can get to know each other!  Our chapters and membes are welcome to submit articles for publication on the SGMP blog. Click here to learn more about Northern Lights member, Jeff Stuhr. 
 

SGMP is sharing this member profile submitted by the SGMP Northern Lights chapter, so we can get to know each other!  Our chapters and membes are welcome to submit articles for publication on the SGMP blog.   Blog submissions should be sent to membership@sgmp.org

Jeff Stuhr, MN Pollution Control Agency


Background

Way, way back - in the good old days before the internet and mobile phones - while a journalism student at the University of Minnesota, I got a student-worker position with a small, environmental, Minnesota state agency. That eventually turned into an internship with the communications department working on writing, video and other communications assignments. After graduation, I was hired to a full-time position with the agency.

One of the first projects I worked on was coordinating a number of state-wide training courses. This was my first taste of the meetings/events industry.  Since then, I have worked on numerous conferences, events, trade shows, and public meetings. With the explosion of social media about 10 years ago, my video production role has gotten much larger and my event/meeting coordination much smaller.
 

Career Highlights

In the early 2000's, we started an event called the Living Green Expo. The idea was to hold a free, 1-day, environmentally focused, consumer trade show and educational event. We had about 100 exhibitors and did a handful of workshops at the St. Paul Armory. We were flabbergasted when so many people showed up on that cool April day that we were out of coffee by 11:00.
 
The exhibitors and almost 5,000 attendees left the event ecstatic and clamored for us to do it again. The event grew to two days and took over the entire MN State Fair Grandstand building and surrounding grounds. It had 275 exhibitors, 70 workshops, live music, food and 25,000 attendees. From this event, the idea to hold a similar, but much smaller event at the MN State Fair in August took hold. Today, that event is called the Eco Experience. It runs all 12-days of the fair and attracts more than 250,000 attendees every year. Each year, I spend all of August and half of September at the state fair working on this event.


First SGMP Involvement

In the late 1990's, I was on the board of directors of the Minnesota Chapter of MPI (Meeting Professionals International) when I heard about a group that is focused on the government meetings/events industry – SGMP. I became a member and shortly thereafter was “coerced” by past presidents Tim Perry and Margaret Geisler (aka Nafeesha) to get onto the board as treasurer. I moved on to become 1st VP and eventually president of this chapter from 2006- 2007 and again, briefly, in 2009.
 

New Member Advice

Simply, get involved. Don't only show up to monthly meetings. Those brief gatherings are great, but you need to go deeper to really enjoy the full benefits of membership. Join a committee, run for a board position, attend the national conference. You'll grow professionally and personally. Just as in life, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. Believe me, involvement is key!
 

Personal

I've been married for almost 25 years and we have two daughters age 21 and 17, and a 19 year old son.
 

Fun Fact

My current first and middle names are not the ones I was born with. When I see you next, ask me to tell this story.

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