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From ad sales to event promotion, it was the direct approach that worked

With a background in sales, Susan Lanyi of Silverdale is an event coordinator, putting together various local exposition shows each year.

Lanyi began her business, The Direct Approach, in 1992. She had been selling advertising, and one of her clients was Kitsap Mall. The mall’s marketing manager, Joanne Nelson, invited Lanyi to put in a bid to conduct the Home and Garden Show that year. She was successful in her bid, and coordinated the Home and Garden Show for three consecutive years.

“I was not happy pounding the pavement selling advertising,” she acknowledges now. Doing big events brings together her skills and experiences in a very satisfying way. “I understand what goes where and how to put people and ideas together,” she explains.

Lanyi particularly loves making people laugh. For years, her dad used to tell her that a woman was more beautiful when she smiled, a philosophy she has personally adopted.

On behalf of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce, of which she is a member, Lanyi conducted the Showcase of Business in the Kitsap Mall for several years, originally encouraged by the chamber’s executive director Marian Brittain to compete for the task.

Also by request, she put together the now-defunct KitsaParty at the mall from 1995 through 1998, bringing in the various restaurants and entertainment for that sold-out party benefiting a number of local non-profits.

From 1995 through 1997, The Direct Approach coordinated the West Sound Health Expo at the mall.

As the mall added more and more kiosk businesses, space for such expos was lost, so she has utilized other venues. Over time, she has developed relationships with many vendors, entertainers, ad representatives and others.

“I like meeting new women that are successful in what they do in life,” Lanyi says. Having utilized prisoners from the Purdy Prison for women in setting up for some events, she became friends with one and has hired her to help with other shows, now that she is no longer incarcerated.

Lanyi’s membership in the Soroptimist Club of Greater North Kitsap, a service club made up of businesswomen, led to another opportunity. Since 2000, she has helped put on their annual spring Garden Show. This year’s Garden Show is set for March 5 in the Presidents’ Hall at the Kitsap Fairgrounds.

For 11 years she has conducted the West Sound Wedding Show, now at the Pavilion at the fairgrounds. The most recent one was held on Feb. 5, her 54th birthday. She brought in vendors, models, entertainment, and as she frequently does, Lanyi allowed those attending to reduce their ticket price by bringing food for the CK food bank.

She conducted a Business and Job Opportunity Expo in 2000, and the Kitsap Community Resources awards banquet in 2001.

At the request of the county, she’s taken charge of the Holidazzle Festival of Lights at the fairgrounds the past two years. The 2004 event not only included Santa, but live reindeer and a carousel, as well. Thanks to two years’ of Holidazzle attendees, some 2,500 pounds of food was delivered to the local food bank, because, she says, “I totally believe in it!”

Lanyi’s father eventually lived with her and her husband, local chiropractor Dr. David Froines, so she could help care for his needs. Her dad, who was born in Hungary, suffered a number of small strokes, resulting in dementia, but to the end, managed to charm his female hospice caregivers by kissing them on the hand.

Lanyi’s future goals include having a successful business show in 2005.

On a personal note, she looks forward to reducing her workload to a couple of shows per year, if her husband ever chooses to retire. “David is so paramount in my life,” she says of this man she met 12 years ago, and married 8 years ago. “I want every day with him that I can have.”

Susan Lanyi may be contacted at The Direct Approach, 360-337-1111.

 
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