Why Susan Lucci Is an Unforgettable Name at Advanced AV
Lucci’s winning attitude and determination to learn AV took her from a part-time drafter to full-time engineering manager.
Although she looks nothing like the famous daytime soap star with whom she shares a name, Advanced AV engineering manager Susan Lucci knows her name comes with some advantages. It makes her name easier to remember.
With that said, Lucci, 48, is happy to have made a name for herself since going from part-time drafter at AAV seven years ago to her current position about four years ago, where she now oversees the company’s engineers, drafters, sales engineers and programmers.
“When I was part-time, I came in, did my job and left,” says Lucci. “I didn’t have full knowledge of how the company worked. [Being named engineering manager] was a big leap for me. I was low man on the pole and then, all of a sudden, my peers had to look at me in a different way. I had to win that confidence, and I have that now with my team.”
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Before coming to AAV, Lucci worked as a freelance drafter, but not in AV. Instead, she focused on lighting, furniture and interior design in her drawings. “AV was very new to me,” she says. “There are still things I’m learning today.”
Let’s go Back Stage to find out more about Susan Lucci:
Craig MacCormack: How were you able to successfully transform the engineering department, despite going from part-time to manager?
Susan Lucci: I made a lot of good changes in the department and that makes others want to make changes too. We adopted more of a team approach and were able to match projects with skills. Now drafters can do some of what engineers can do and vice versa. We’ve put drafters and engineers together on teams.
We’re also creating standards as part of these process changes. We know the biggest challenge is always meeting deadlines for our customers.
I’ve developed a level of confidence and become more aware of what’s needed. I’m always looking to see if there’s a better way of doing something.
CM: What if the changes you make don’t work? Do you worry about how that will affect how those in your department will perceive you as a leader?
SL: The industry is changing so we have to change with it. You have to fail at something before you know where you can succeed. Others in the company have to have faith that engineering can get the job done and I think they have that now.
Engineering has more exposure to the client than ever before. That’s something the client wants. Sometimes challenges and changes are necessary.
CM: What are some of your other interests?
SL: I have my degree in architecture. I love houses, buildings, how things are laid out. I went to art school as a kid, but that wasn’t necessarily something I was going to do as a career. It’s more about my thought process. I have a goal of someday having a website that includes design, home décor and cooking and baking. For me, everything is about presentation. I apply that at work too.
I also train and run with [sons] Brett and Sean. We do the Spartan Run every summer on Blue Mountain. [This] July will be the third time we’ve done it.
Of note: Susan Lucci is the mother of three sons: Matthew, 24; Brett, 20; and Sean, 18. She has been in the integration industry for seven years (all with Advanced AV).