National Association of Attorneys General
Susan Moss has mastered the art of negotiation. As NAAG’s only full-time meeting planner, Susan oversees hotel selection, meeting logistics and other details while reviewing contracts for more than 50 NAAG seminars and meetings a year.
Every day, Susan delves into her 5-inch binder of hotel phone numbers, sales contacts, caterers and bus companies to skillfully haggle over the big-ticket and small items that can make an Association’s meeting budget run amuck.
Sometimes, the negotiations are easy. Other times, the requests that come from NAAG meeting participants and guest speakers can create a few hurdles not easily overcome.
For example, try persuading a Coke hotel to serve Pepsi to your guests.
“I’ve gotten requests for cribs, refrigerators, microwaves --- even a request for a specialized company to install a secure private phone line to ensure national security for one of our speakers,” Moss said. “People will come up with very random things they want and I pretty much make it happen.”
The 2002 Auburn University graduate has been planning events since graduating from college. She joined NAAG in March to make planning the increasing number of trainings and seminars more efficient and cost effective. This is when the art of skillful negotiation comes into play.
“Most of the time, I already have a relationship with the sales managers or hotel chain,” Moss said. “I’m very forward with what I want in my contract and I always demand way too much knowing that they’ll reject some items.”
If she’s successful, her efforts can mean significant AV/multimedia discounts, complimentary phone lines, free wireless access, complimentary hotel suites and food and beverage discounts.
“I use two of my strongest traits in whatever I do,” the 28-year-old Florida native said. “I’m detailed and I’m really organized. And it helps that I’m real personable.”
Susan has been an integral part of planning this year’s annual Spring Meeting, where more than 40 Attorneys General are expected to attend, along with several hundred outside guests. She also plays an important role in locating sites for National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAGTRI) seminars.
“NAAG is a good association to work for,” Moss said. “I like what I do and I feel I’m good at what I do.”
In spite of her hectic schedule, often traveling to scout out new meeting locations or staffing NAAG meetings, she still finds time for her husband of three years, John, and her labrador, Hampden.