Az Business and AZRE magazines announced the publications’ lists of the Most Influential Women in Arizona for 2020, including Suzanne Wilson, president and CEO of the Phoenix Symphony. Each day, azbigmedia.com is profiling one of the Most Influential Women of 2020.
To buy copies of the Most Influential Women in Arizona issue, click here.
Today’s spotlight: Suzanne Wilson
President and CEO
Background: Wilson has an extensive background in both the performing arts and in education. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Midori Foundation, a preeminent provider of high-quality music education to New York City public school students in underserved communities. She also served as Chief of Staff for the New England Conservatory in Boston, one of the nation’s premiere music institutions. Previously, Wilson worked as Director of the Office of External Affairs and Partnerships for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, as well as Vice President of Education and Community Engagement for the Celebrity Series of Boston.
Professional advice: “Throughout my career and still today, there are so many smart people who have shared their insightful advice and treasured guidance that I take to heart and would love to share with young women. First, trust your instincts. Next, impress with preparedness. And most importantly, always be kind and generous of spirit. One of my favorite taglines from my commencement speech at Kenyon College and resonates to this day: ‘Find the good in every situation and celebrate it.’”
Lesson learned in 2020: “Last year, I left a beloved job in New York City and relocated to Arizona to support my husband who had a once in a lifetime opportunity. Never would I have imagined in the months that followed that my dream job at The Phoenix Symphony would present itself. By taking a leap of faith, my professional and personal trajectory was completely transformed. As a leader, this was an invaluable lesson in the power of trust, timing and flexibility while embracing change and pursuing the unknown.”
Surprising fact: “As a young musician in high school, I attended the Tanglewood Institute to study and advance as a vocalist. Amazingly, the twenty-five young women in the program were invited to perform in Leonard Bernstein’s 70 birthday celebration alongside John Williams, Lauren Bacall, the original cast of West Side Story and Yo-Yo Ma, just to name a few. To this day, I still remember the stage, the audience and the experience with my friends. What an honor!”