Specialist Spotlight: Cynthia Steele

Our Happily specialists are diverse, talented, creative, and just plain awesome. So every week we are proud to introduce you to one of them.

The Happily specialist under the spotlight:

Name: Cynthia Steele

Pronouns: she/her

Location: Washington, DC

Happily Role/s To Date: Associate Producer, Backstage Manager

Hey there, have you met Cynthia?

She is an experienced event management professional with a specialty in the performing arts. She has over 20 years of experience producing live television concerts, festivals and symphony orchestra tours in the US and internationally. Cynthia is the Executive Director of National Society of Arts and Letters - plus, she is a mom, a classical musician, a fitness instructor and runs marathons in her spare time!

Cynthia Steele Hero Image

So Cynthia, what is your superpower?

I like to think that I'm exceptionally good at making everyone feel welcome, a valuable part of the team, listening to client's needs, and making a plan to move forward. Building relationships and executing a plan.

When you're not working on a Happily production, what are you up to?

I do triathlons - I train for Ironman triathlons and also running/marathons. I get a little obsessed so if anyone wants to talk about swimming, biking, or running - hit me up!

My side hustle related to this was as a triathlon/running blogger and influencer back when Instagram was taking off. That's why my IG handle is "yousignedupforwhat" - my blog was called You Signed Up for WHAT?! because I love big challenges.

It was really popular but it's been quiet there for a while because I started managing social media and doing event work for triathlon-focused organizations and got busy! I'm about to start blogging again since I miss it - it will expand into hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, and other adventures. I sign up for ALL the things.

What do you enjoy about the freelancer life?

I love working as part of a team to bring a project to a successful, high-quality completion. I've been exposed to a range of topics, industries, and people working with Happily that I never would have experienced before the virtual space!

Which Happily production are you most proud to have been part of?

It's hard to pick just one, but I loved the Techstars Staffcon. It was a big, complicated, interesting event and we had a great team from Happily, as well as great partners on the client side. It made me miss working as a team to produce live events.

What are you looking forward to the events industry?

My career has been focused in the performing arts and also endurance sports (running and triathlon). I worked in orchestra management for many years, and the past year and a half have been devastating to the arts. I'm really looking forward to in-person music, theater, dance, and festivals/competitions.

There is nothing like the first note/beat/step in a live performance! Also, it has been challenging to run arts competitions virtually since artists have varying degrees of access to spaces, technology, editing expertise, and equipment.

What makes you happy?

I have three kids who make me really happy! Also, the aforementioned running and biking, along with hiking and backpacking and anything outdoorsy. Also I've learned to sail the past few years - it's such a cool endeavor to learn to harness the power of the wind and the mechanics of the boat to move forward.

Who else needs a coffee?

Listen to Cynthia in conversation with Sarah Shewey, Founder and CEO of Happily, via Instagram Live.

Tune in to Coffee O’Clock every Tuesday 10am PST as Sarah Shewey jumps on Instagram Live at @teamhappily, to give a quick update on all things Happily and chat with one of our Happily specialists. Here is a playback featuring Cynthia from Tue 27th, July.


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