About Lynn


Lynn was raised with a service-above-self philosophy, resulting in a natural connection with nonprofits, government agencies and businesses. She knows first-hand, having been involved with multiple boards of directors at critical junctures and never shied from taking an organization out of a period of darkness and into the light.

As with many nonprofits, festivals and events are a method to generate funds, friends and awareness. Lynn has successfully organized and promoted numerous festivals, corporate and community events, and leadership programs and activities. She’s quick to point out that the “devil is in the details.”

Lynn Fuhler, a native of Illinois and the greater St. Louis area, is a coach, international author and speaker. Colleges and universities across the U.S. use her festival and event books to teach event management courses. She holds a B.S. degree from St. Louis University’s Parks College. Lynn is the co-founder of Flying Compass, Inc., a marketing and consulting agency

Coaching From A Young Age

From a young age, I loved gymnastics. It was quite an honor to be asked to help a gymnastics coach at her school on Saturdays. She needed someone to spot students, assist them when practicing a back handspring or an aerial cartwheel, and catch and correct movements like a bad landing, improper placement of hands, an arched back, wrong alignment, etc. Coaching comes naturally to me.

Learning About Business & Life

I worked for my dad at his retail store during high school and college. His first rule: greet everyone that walks through the door. I was quiet and introverted, but I forced myself to do it and eventually became comfortable knowing our regulars by name. Working in this environment opened my eyes. Genuine customer service was dad’s mantra. A consummate salesman, he had a gift of gab and closed his conversations with, “When would you like me to deliver that?” I learned much from him about business.

Even though I was his daughter, dad wanted me to know I wasn’t guaranteed employment. I still carry his words, “You can be replaced,” wherever I go.

Teaching People & Figuring a Way Out in the Dark

Sailing Hobie Cats is my favorite pastime; unfortunately, I don’t get to do it much these days. During my last two years of college, I volunteered each summer weekend at a sailboat rental at the lake just to get a chance to sail. I loved teaching people Bernoulli’s Principle and how it applied. The joy on someone’s face when grasping how to use the wind to tack and jibe is indescribable.

My two favorite memories: 1) being able to dance on the water with one hull up in the air when the winds were optimum, and 2) bringing a Hobie into a crowded marina and expertly tack and jibe into a headwind to the distant far end. The scariest experience was sailing with a group I didn’t know well on a very dark night on an unfamiliar sailboat. The captain intentionally jumped overboard. Two of us quickly determined how to turn the boat around, retrieve him and return to shore.

Discovering Nonprofit Events

I grew up in Highland, Ill., a small town in a very rural area across the river from St. Louis, where every community has a festival or homecoming, and every church has a picnic. I associate festivals and events as a fun time with food, drinks, entertainment and a chance to visit with friends. Back then, I didn’t realize they were fundraisers.

As part of my first job as the Tourism & Conventions Director of Clearwater and Clearwater Beach for the regional chamber of commerce, one of my responsibilities was to produce the largest free jazz festival in the Southeast U.S. When the event moved under its own nonprofit foundation, I returned as the volunteer chairman. Our all-volunteer team successfully organized the event and left money in the bank.

Helping During Difficult Transitions

As I’ve often said, “If it were easy, someone else would have done it.” While I wasn’t eligible to be a Boy Scout, I recognize that volunteer leadership requires survival skills, common sense and a Plan B. No map? No problem. I’m a mapmaker.

While too numerous to list all the organizations I’ve helped, I can say I find the most satisfaction in taking on assignments that many see as unsurmountable. I love a good puzzle and finding a way to engineer a multi-layer solution.

Email me when your new leadership book becomes available.

To learn more about my two festival and event books, click here.

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