VP, Director, Audio + Video Investment
Susan Richey, our VP Director, Audio + Video Investment, is at the top of her game in this, her 27th year at the agency. Countless media up-and-comers have benefited from the depth and breadth of her experience. We asked her to clue us in on what inspires her, how she stays motivated, how she maintains a healthy work-life balance and more.
Who has made a positive impact on you in your career, and what’s one lesson they taught you?
My father taught me how important it is to have a good work ethic and he told me that the truth is, people only want to work with people they like. I’ve always remembered that. Be honest, work hard and when you make the boss look good, guess who also looks good: You.
How do you thrive and create opportunities for others to thrive while working from home?
In my department, we do a lot of screen sharing to collaborate on ideas that will improve our process. If someone on my team has a way to make something better, I encourage them to share it. No, I insist on it!
What do you love to do outside of work or what inspires you outside of work?
I volunteer at my county animal shelter, caring for the animals there and making adoption matches. I post photos of lost-and-found animals in my community on the local social media pages. It is so rewarding when you’re able to offer a scared animal a little love and kindness while it waits for its owner to come and claim them or to be there for them when the owner doesn’t come and they transition to a new owner.
How do you create a balanced, supportive environment between personal and professional life?
My life is much more balanced since we began working from home. I get more sleep, more time with my family and I love actually having time to make dinner. In pre-pandemic times, my commute was 3-4 hours a day and it made family life difficult because I got home so late. Now I can even put dinner in the oven and go back to work until it is ready so I am actually more productive!
What books or resources are you currently reading/would recommend that help you stay on trend within the industry?
I subscribe to several industry newsletters like MediaPost, SmartBrief, Next TV and Broadcasting + Cable that I skim through each morning to keep current. They are the best for breaking news on the industry and they give me leads on what I may need to investigate further.
If you could learn anything new what would it be?
I would love to speak fluent Spanish. I have always regretted not learning it. It is such a big part of our culture and in my family. I have a pretty good understanding of nouns and verbs en español, but putting a sentence together is beyond my (current) skillset.
What is a piece of advice you have heard or experienced that has shaped you as a professional?
Always have integrity and build trust based on honesty. If people don’t trust or believe you, you will never be respected.
If you could choose your spirit animal, what would it be and why?
My spirit animal is a wolf because they have good instincts, tight social connections, appreciate their freedom and protect their pack. Which pretty much sums up my career!
Describe the three characteristics about yourself that led to your success in business.
So you want me to brag about myself a little? Okay. No problem. I like to think I’m an honest and direct person, I’m always friendly and I have an excellent sense of humor. Being determined and a willingness to creatively solve problems through compromise are also qualities I pride myself on.
How did you feel or what were your thoughts on your very first day of work at DE?
It was 27 years ago when I started, so my memories have faded a bit, but I remember just being incredibly excited at the opportunity. I had heard so many good things about the agency but I was also a bit intimidated since I didn’t know anyone there, I was going to have a new supervisor and would need to learn new systems. But, I can honestly say, it all worked out better than I ever imagined and I consider myself lucky. I’ve had a great career here!