Meet Suzanne McFarlin | ELC Mentor, Step Up Leaders!

Meet Suzanne McFarlin | ELC Mentor, Step Up Leaders!
Motivating. Understanding. Strong. Compassionate and Honest.

By Mary Venezia, Chief of Staff | University of Arizona, Enrollment Management

Suzanne McFarlin, my Emerging Leaders Council mentor, has had a significant influence on my professional and personal life. Her work is about creating change agents who both speak up and step up. She has taught me that by working on myself, I can better transform others in my office, family and community. She has helped me become equipped with skills and tools to adapt and succeed in an ever-evolving world… which has been especially helpful during a pandemic.

Suzanne McFarlin, PCC, BCC, is a professional certified and board certified coach, specializing in executive and leadership coaching and runs her own local business, Step Up Leaders! Her business offers leadership and executive coaching working with individuals and organizations. Her specialties include activating the talent that organizations need and witness people changing their lives, learning to adjust, bouncing back, recalibrating during times of transition, having influence on others and creating impact. As my mentor, we meet periodically to discuss my goals, my struggles at work, and plans for the future. She is always available and responsive – no matter my issue!

I was fortunate to meet Suzanne when I was a Flinn Brown Fellow. She was my executive leadership coach. Together we worked on goals and strategies to help me become a stronger and more confident leader. When I first met Suzanne, I was not connected within the Southern Arizona community. She helped me identify the benefits of being better connected to support my long term goals of positively impacting Tucson’s postsecondary education system. Soon after working with Suzanne, I applied for the Emerging Leaders Council and a couple years later, we are paired through ELC!

Suzanne’s list of accomplishments is long and her expertise is vast. I can speak from personal experience that she has been an invaluable influence as I navigate moving through the politics of higher education administration while ensuring my values are not lost. I have gained the confidence to step up when I feel something is not right. She has challenged me to do things I would have usually avoided at all costs – because she knew the reward would be great for my development.
Suzanne is particularly invested in helping young women become stronger leaders in their workplaces and communities. As an exemplary strong woman, Suzanne is launching a program this year to help young women find their voice and build the confidence to have a more significant impact in their communities and work. Suzanne’s leadership style, which reflects a balance between intuition and practicality, is evident in the various approaches and techniques she uses to help people achieve their best.

Suzanne has helped me so much, I wanted to share her with my work team. I have brought her to the University of Arizona to help run several team retreats. Her programming is always inclusive and adaptable to our needs and she is quick to change pace as needed. Even my most stubborn of team members leave her trainings invigorated and confident – and the impact has had lasting results.

While we operate in an especially stressful time, I find myself using techniques Suzanne has taught me to center myself, build up my confidence, and react appropriately – many times a day! I am so grateful that the Emerging Leaders Council reconnected me with Suzanne and I look forward to our continued mentorship.