Susanne D. Lyons, GSM’82

in Alumni, Alumni Profiles, B&L
April 6th, 2012

Susanne Lyons alumSusanne D. Lyons has held senior marketing and general management roles at some of the largest financial services companies in the US, including chief marketing officer at both Charles Schwab & Co and Visa USA. In 1999, the Financial Women’s Association named Susanne “Financial Woman of the Year”, and, in 2006, she was named one of America’s top 50 marketers by Advertising Age. She received her undergraduate degree from Vassar College and her MBA from Boston University. We’re honored to give her the Last Word.

The greatest truth in management: There are very few solo acts in business.

My first job was: Delivering the local paper. They told me they only hired boys, and I told them I knew the head of the ACLU. (I didn’t, but I got the job anyway.)

The last book I read was:The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson.

No one has influenced me more than: Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer. I find his methods work not only with dogs but with employees and teenagers too.

The moment I knew I didn’t know it all was when: My daughter explained Twitter to me.

When I attended the School of Management, I wish: I had been able to take more courses.

My last meal would be: Pizza, a glass of red wine, and something intensely chocolate for dessert.

If a film were made of my life, I’d be played by: Diane Lane.

The most difficult part of management is: Learning when to let go and allow employees to stumble.

My next venture will be: Educating the next generation about our planet.

My favorite place to go on holiday is: Anywhere my family is.

When I was 10, I wanted to be: An oceanographer.

Most people don’t know that: I used to raise mice and I am a very good baker.

Every day I make the time to: Get out in nature and hug my dog.

Running a successful organization takes: Vision, leadership, energy, and a sense of humor.

The soundtrack of my life includes: Anything from Glee.

Nothing tells more about a person than: The pictures they post on Facebook.

My guilty pleasure is: Eating cupcake batter.

If I could change one thing about the world, it would be: To help people listen more than they speak.

I’m happiest when: I’m singing or hiking.

What’s changed most in business is: Corporate governance, at least for public companies, is a much more serious business.

The wisest investment I ever made was: Learning to type.