An Unexpected Journey from Intern to Executive
Since 2003, Suzanne has been dedicated to Make-A-Wish San Diego’s mission of granting life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Over the years, she has held many positions within the organization, including Wish Coordinator, Volunteer Manager, and Medical Outreach Manager, to name a few. Her years of experience and dedication culminated in her current role as CEO in 2021.
Suzanne’s love for her work is fueled by her passion for the people she serves. She deeply values the community of resilient wish kids and their families, volunteers, donors, and colleagues who come together to make the world a brighter place for those who need it most. “I am passionate about what we do because I get to see our mission in action every day. A wish renews hope by empowering a child to think about their future, and encourages their belief that the impossible, is possible,” she shares with GB Magazine.
Suzanne is also a firm believer in the shared leadership model. “If you surround yourself with knowledgeable and passionate people, there is no limit to what you can accomplish together,” she added. Suzanne considers herself more of a “doer” after holding so many roles within the organization over the past 20 years. “As CEO, it is my responsibility to lean in wherever the team needs me, and recognize when they do not so I can stand back and support them,” she says.
Outside of work, Suzanne prioritizes her self-care by practicing hot yoga, hiking, and skiing. She believes in the importance of taking care of oneself, especially in the high-stress and emotionally demanding nonprofit sector.