New chamber director balances business, family nonprofit volunteering
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 |
Name: Susan Scott Difani
Age and place of birth: I just turned 46 on New Year’s Day. I was born in Kingsville and raised in Ozona, Texas.
Family: My husband, Paul Difani, is the IT director for Kaleidacare Business Solutions.
Education: Attended Texas A&M University and Angelo State University where I majored in journalism and communication.
Occupation: Administrative director of the Westlake Chamber of Commerce.
What’s your career ambition? My goal is to help grow the Westlake Chamber into something even bigger and better than it already is. We are working on so many great projects right now. I just can’t wait for what the future brings.
Civic or other nonprofit activities: I am passionate about animals and was a longtime volunteer with the Austin Humane Society. This past year, I participated in both the Komen Austin Race for the Cure and the Austin JDRF Family Walk. In the past, I have worked as a volunteer for the United Way and the Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo.
Hobbies: I love to travel, try new wines and entertain. I’m also my family’s genealogist and am fascinated by history in general. My mother was a Texas history teacher, and my fourth great grandmother is believed to have been the first female granted a Spanish Land Grant to settle Texas, so I’m especially interested in Texas history.
What qualities in people draw you to be their friend? I tend to be drawn to people who are curious, always willing to try something new and who can laugh both at themselves and at me.
I have a knack for: Organizing things.
The one thing I’d like to change about the Westbank is: The traffic.
Most significant or interesting job: The funniest job I have had was during my senior year in college. At the height of the Simpson’s craze in the late ’80s, the local Fox affiliate hired me to escort a costumed Bart Simpson throughout San Angelo in a convertible culminating in a photo-op at the mall. People stood in line for hours to have their picture taken with us. For months afterwards, strangers would approach me and say, “Hey, you’re Bart’s friend!” I was even asked for a few autographs. Little did they know, but the person inside the Bart costume was the station manager’s very pregnant wife.
Which of your civic-oriented accomplishments make you the proudest? I’m proudest of my work with the Austin Humane Society. Just knowing I gave a little comfort to a frightened creature in transition from one home to another makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
What is one interesting fact about you that people probably don’t know? I was president of the 4-H Club in high school and showed goats. I’m kind of a girly-girl so that usually surprises people.
What is your fondest childhood memory? There are so many, but my favorites were probably all the family reunions in Concan, near Garner State Park, where we floated the Frio River.
A bad habit I have is: I tend to collect too many pets. I currently have two rescued dogs and four rescued cats.
My pet peeve is: Rude people. I mean, really, how hard is it to say please and thank you?
If you could sit down and ask questions of anyone (living or dead), who would it be and why? My seventh great grandmother was Thomas Jefferson’s aunt. I would like to ask her what he was like as a child and what her own hopes and dreams for the future were in colonial America.
Most exciting or dangerous thing I’ve ever done: I snorkeled in the open ocean and enjoyed it. This was a really big deal for someone with a serious water phobia who is married to a diving instructor. It only took him eight years to talk me into it, though he still hasn’t convinced me to dive yet.
Life’s most challenging endeavor is: To not give in to fear. It’s so much easier to take the safe road in life, but it’s often the things that scare us most that end up being the most fulfilling.
If you were stranded on an uninhabited island, with no means of communication or escape, what is one thing that you would you like to have? Indoor plumbing.
Is there anything that you passed up on doing that you now regret? That list could be a mile long, but if I hadn’t passed those things up, then I wouldn’t be who I am today, and I kind of like myself.
How would you like to be remembered? I would hope that people would remember me as a kind person who truly enjoyed life.
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