Our latest Modern Muse is truly a Wonder Woman of today. Mother to four adorable boys, wife, board member of several nonprofits and the advisory managing partner for the Southwest region of Ernst and Young, one of the biggest consulting firms in the country, she shows women and girls that they truly can have it all by tapping into their gifts and living a life of love, passion and grace. Here is her story in her own words.
“Through my Board service with the Dallas Women’s Foundation (DWF), I have helped to raise funds to support women and girls by engaging corporate and individual donors. I am a member of the DWF Economic Leadership Council and played a key role in developing the Women’s Leadership Institute which aims to advance women into senior leadership roles in the workplace.
“At EY, I am an active member of the Americas Advisory Women’s Leadership Steering Committee, where I developed the Power.Presence.Purpose leadership development program to help high performing women become even stronger authentic leaders and help advance them to the Partner/Principle and Executive Director levels.”
What inspired you to do the work that you do/motivates you today?
“When my family first came to America, there were many individuals and organizations that helped us start our new life in a new country. One in particular was my 3rd grade teacher John Gallagher. John and his father gave of their time and resources unselfishly to help my family and many others succeed in America. They gave without expecting anything in return.
“In my career, I have been blessed with mentors and sponsors who believed in me more than I believed in myself. They helped me see my potential more clearly and they gave me access to opportunities and relationships. I credit my achievements to the many generous individuals who have helped me along the way. The best way I know how to honor them is to pay it forward.”
How did you get to where you are and what challenges did/do you face?
“The first eight years of my life included living through four years of the Cambodian Genocide and two years in the refugee camps. New to America at eight years old, I started school in the 3rd grade. While my parents worked multiple minimum wage jobs to provide for their 5 children and my older siblings trying to figure things out themselves, I became independent at a young age. I signed my own report cards and field trip permission slips.
“In the 9th grade I decided to run for the Student Council with my friends. That led to my involvement in other organizations, where I served as President of the Key Club and Student Body President at Skyline High School. After high school, I attended SMU, where I studied Electrical Engineering with Biomedical Engineering Specialization and I serve as President of the East Asian Student Association and helped found the Asian Council. Working alongside our Asian American Student Advisor Alec Park and fellow student leaders, we were proud to be an active part of the SMU community. I have always had a leaning towards leadership and found energy in bringing people together to support a cause.
“Upon graduation, I started my career at Andersen Consulting/Accenture, where I worked as an IT consultant. I worked hard and had strong mentors and sponsors who believed in me and gave me access to opportunities. I moved to EY after 16 years at Accenture and currently serving as the Advisory Managing Partner for the Southwest Region. Along the way, I married Eric Suzuki and we are raising 4 boys together.
“The last five years has been a time of tremendous professional and personal growth. My career shifted from IT consulting to business leadership. My community involvement went from nearly zero to now serving on five non-profit boards. My home life (including personal well-being) went from touch and go workaholic to a calmer more present state. My biggest challenge has been my ability to get really clear about how I want to live my life and making intentional choices to make it a reality. Still working on it but better than where I was.”
Who is your she-ro?
“My she-ro is Marsha Clark, an extraordinary woman who has figured out how to live a life that is true to herself and teaching others to do the same. She has helped me and many other women to really see ourselves and has given us practical tools to work towards our best selves.”
What is your favorite quote?
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill
Do you know a #ModernMuse who has an amazing story to tell? Send us her story to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to know her: 1) Name, 2) Age if under 25, 3) Ethnicity, 4) Location, 5) Relationship to you, 6) Why you think she is a #ModernMuse (what is she doing or has she done to make Inspire, Empower, Impact the world or the community around her?). We’ll let you both know when we’d like to publish her story, send her a few more questions and will share it on our social media channels. Looking forward to your submissions!