Career Path

David Cusack

'First and foremost, I learned to be a problem solver while being calm under pressure.'

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David Cusack, Senior Sales Executive, Hargrove Inc., Lanham, Maryland

EDUCATION

The Maxwell School at Syracuse University, master’s in public administration; Colby College, bachelor of arts in classics.

MY FIRST INDUSTRY JOB

My first start in events was with Vice President Al Gore. Since I was still in college, I would travel to New Hampshire and put on small events — e.g., town halls and listening tours.

MY PREVIOUS THREE JOBS

Previous to Hargrove, I was the director of operations for the White House, which oversaw all daily and long-term operations and finances of the Executive Office of the President. At the U.S. Department of State, I was the senior conference manager, which oversaw various conferences and summits — e.g., the Our Ocean conference and the U.S.–Africa Leaders Summit. And at the White House, I was director of advance for President Obama, during which I was responsible for every event the president participated in outside of the White House, which included some 215 domestic trips, 35 international trips, and four U.S.-hosted summits.

WHAT I LEARNED WORKING FOR THE WHITE HOUSE

First and foremost, I learned to be a problem solver while being calm under pressure. Also, another skill I learned is to be able to negotiate and speak to a diverse audience of stakeholders. 

WHAT I DO NOW

As a sales executive at Hargrove, I am focused on developing relationships and leveraging my vast expertise in producing summits and large-scale events across the globe. I’m excited to get to continue to work with many of my former colleagues as we all endeavor into the next phases of our careers by creating and executing memorable experiences for companies, associations, and nonprofits that are looking to launch brands and build awareness.

MOST INFLUENCED IN MY CAREER BY

My dad. He has been a salesman for the past 50-plus years in the lumber industry. He taught me the meaning of customer service. 

FAVORITE THING ABOUT MY JOB

Here at Hargrove, it’s a different challenge every day, and I get to help solve each one of them with an amazing team of professionals. 

MY NEXT BIG CAREER GOAL

I am looking forward to perfecting my skill sets and growing with Hargrove. 

MY ADVICE FOR YOUNG MEETING PROFESSIONALS

Plan accordingly, but always be able to adapt, improvise, and overcome while remaining calm — no matter how well yo 

 

Christopher Durso

Christopher Durso is executive editor of Convene.