We should set up a time to talk again when you have time! I really enjoyed all of your advice and have been putting it to good use. I did go to DC a few months ago; it was quite the whirl wind of an experience. I got up at 5am every day and didn’t leave work till 7:30pm every night. It was AWESOME! I job shadowed one of our agencies Deputy Administrators, sat in on meetings, went to White House Council meetings, in my spare time I set up interviews with other senior executive leaders. I think I was seriously asked about 50 times if I would move to DC and why I wasn’t already in DC….LOL….
At one White House council meeting I went to with a senior leader, I knew what the topic of conversation (which is a HUGE deal for small communities and billions of dollars in funding). I had been in previous meetings that week regarding funded projects, took notes (like you recommended – which was so helpful!), so I knew my hard facts. I fearlessly waited for my opportunity and spoke up (even though I was supposed to just kind of be observing). The senior leader I was with was so impressed he went back and told the Deputy Administrator I was shadowing how amazing I was talking with OMB. That felt really awesome!!!
Then a senior leader I interviewed wrote to my State Director saying “They needed more programs to grow leaders if I was the type of candidate these programs produced” – he took 5 of my business cards and made it known he had DC employees working in other states from the field and he was interested in future prospects. AWESOME again!
I could talk all day about my experience. I was tired, sad, and had swollen feet when I had to leave DC, but it was the best career experience of my life thus far!
My brain hasn’t stopped either. It only energized my thoughts even more, I am writing – I filled up an entire notebook of ideas to pitch for implementation, and they are really good too addressing current agency inefficiencies and problems offering positive, inexpensive solutions.
My State Director is a huge supporter of my ideas, and is also very well connected locally and nationally. I just have a feeling I will have the opportunity to be a part of some amazing changes here in the future and THAT IS SO UNBELIEVABLY EXCITING!!! I wish it would happen tomorrow! But I am trying to be patient.
Until then I will take your advice and keep improving myself to be better. Also – I really thought a lot about what you said about “everyone not liking you, not a popularity contest” – I get it…It has made me more confident in my decisions to just keep moving forward and doing what I am doing, who cares if it has never been done or what co-workers here think. Some think it is awesome; others seem…like I need to be put in my place. Also I have gained confidence in who I am, my talents, my creativity, what I bring to the table, talking to high level executives --- and many, many more things. I have grown leaps & bounds.
So THANK YOU for mentoring me!!!! It has meant a lot to me and even though we haven’t had a chance to talk, know that I took to heart all the advice you gave me, listened closely and applied what I heard. I appreciate all the help and if I can ever do anything to repay the kindness, please let me know. Thank you and I hope we can talk soon….
You were my favorite instructor and thank you again for the lessons you taught us all.
"DIA, like many other federal
agencies, were struggling with providing sexual harassment
training to the workforce under a mandate by Congress.
Rather than just provide any training to "meet
I sent out my employees with the task of find a "superior"
training course on the subject. When my employees
came back to me with the recommendation of Sutton
Enterprises, I decided to check them out. What I
found was not only a superior course on the subject,
it was a done by Dianne Sutton with love of the
subject. You could tell that the subject had been
well researched and the delivery of the material
was well presented by Dianne and her team of excellent
instructors. Dianne's approach to training is to
only provide a quality product. While many employees
would have preferred not to attend mandated training,
they all came away with a full appreciation of the
subject and an understanding of how to treat their
fellow workers both on and off the job. Dianne came
to provide training at DIA at a time of intense
need but stayed for a number of years conducting
training in several subjects. Although I have left
DIA, I still find that I am recommending Dianne
Sutton to my colleagues in the training profession
as a person you can rely on to provide a quality
“What I recall most is your ability
to interact with all levels of clients. I especially
remember your skillful delivery of information to
individuals who were less than willing to participate
and otherwise listen to matters of equal opportunity,
diversity, job seeking and life skills. Your level
of understanding of and response to resistance always
struck me as unique. In the end, it was a rarity
that participants left with the same resistance
with which they entered. You have a gift. You always
made sure that you had current info, hence, my poster
to you based on your own philosophy about those
who are not changing with the times, i.e. “Living
in a CD world on 45 speed.”
What strikes me is your willingness to pass on your
experience and education so that others might also
progress as evidenced by your continued support for
the Northern Virginia Chapter of the National Forum
for Public Administrators.”
U.S. Department of Health and
Re: EEO and Diversity
“My first impression of you and
your management training series is that you have a
skill that evokes participation and, hence, learning
on a variety of levels simultaneously. I found it
refreshing that people from a variety of backgrounds
were able to meld together like a choir in order to
complete assignments. You made the exercise enjoyable
while, at the same time, realistically portraying
a bona fide management situation.
Overall, while your organization is
extremely professional, you create a relaxed and nurturing
approach to training and development. I think you
made some real inroads in the federal government by
being a participant in its manage/executive training
programs. You created some pretty good managers throughout
the government. Let me know if I can offer any additional
information to assist you.”
Institute for Human Development, Fort Washington,
“As I think about your time building
“your business” I think/know it has included
struggle. However, at the same time, it has included
an awful lot of highs and successes.
One of the things I remember is that
you started out with a few programs in the area of
diversity that you sold and marketed into a cadre
of, my guess without the long list in front of me,
30-35 different courses that SE offered.
With heart, sweat, and a little fear,
doubt and worry, you parlayed your meager beginning
into a solid reputation for professionalism and
have poured your soul into making a difference in
the lives of a wide array of cultures, ethnic groups
and organizations. Moreover, along the way, you
created some training colleague connections that
are solid and, in a sense, are soul mates who believe
in you along with a host of companies and organizations.
taken your skills and talents into organizations,
corporate board rooms communities and wherever
done your work, you’ve made an
impact, impression or a difference! Sutton Enterprises
is a model of genuine commitment, professionalism,
and integrity. This speaks to your company and
it speaks to you.”
“Congratulations on marking 20
years of support to the training community! During
that time, you provided USDA GIPSA with some quality
training. Of particular note: in 2001, we traveled
to various locations in the US. Sutton Enterprises
led the training effort with the course, “People
Working Together,” which focused on the benefits
of using diversity for improving our work. The
surveys and discussions, coupled with the workshop
exercises, resulted in a more positive environment.
Thanks for your contributions to training and
development. I have enjoyed our work collaboration. "
“After one of the July sessions
a gentlemen out of the class, saw an evaluation form
that was left out on a table in our outer office,
and spontaneously filled it out.
He was very satisfied, and circled “all
5’s for meeting objectives, effective facilitator,
manual and overall rating. I thought you might
enjoy his two comments."
What was the most beneficial part of
“It gave me a better understanding
of the need to be more aware of what you say and how
things can be taken.”
“Ms. Sutton was a very effective
facilitator. Her knowledge and approach to the subject
of diversity was non-confrontational and made you
feel optimistic about going to this type of training.
She challenged all of us in ways that others have