Becoming a parent to now eight-year-old Lily was a life-altering experience for Susan Karis. It even influenced the projection of her community involvement : “I seem to be drawn more and more to nonprofits and groups that are supportive of youth”. So she chose to be associated with Florence Crittenton, which provides services, education, and programs to help youth overcome the issues of abuse, neglect, mental health problems, and teen pregnancy. Susan is also a board member of the Valley of the Sun United Way, and a board member of the Cronkite Endowment Board at ASU. The Cronkite Endowment supports journalism and broadcasting majors at ASU, and recognizes outstanding contributions made by media professionals.
Susan was recently presented with the Golden Karma Award for Community Philanthropy. The award, designed and created by Molina Fine Jewelers, and part of a mentoring and recognition program of Success For Good, is to celebrate community leaders for philanthropic actions.
It was through her radio career that Susan first became involved with nonprofits. “I could see the impact people can have if we focus our energies together.” Susan is proud to be a Senior Vice President with Clear Channel Radio. This terrestrial radio giant operates approximately 1200 stations throughout the US. Recently the National Association of Broadcasters has awarded Clear Channel five Marconi awards. Susan says, “Often radio stations partner with nonprofits offering promotion opportunities and programming.”
Being involved with nonprofits provided Susan last March with a unique experience, meeting Prince Andrew of Great Britain. “I was the PR chair for the Florence Crittenton Teaming Up for Kids Luncheon, and Prince Andrew was the guest speaker. He spoke very sincerely about his young daughters, and his ex-wife’s family. Prince Andrew was recognized by the governor of Arizona with Florence Crittenton’s HOPE Award at the luncheon for his philanthropic work on behalf of abused children and with Outward Bound.”
Although a native of New Jersey, Susan chose to attend Arizona State University, majoring in broadcasting and advertising. She spent a few years in California, but has been back in the Phoenix area since 1983. What she likes best about the Valley of the Sun area is the quality of life and the fabulous winters. Phoenix is a great place to call home!
Susan Karis is hopeful and optimistic about the future. “I’m grateful to have a successful career and a beautiful daughter; I look forward to finding someone to share it with!” Additionally, she is confident that nonprofits throughout the Phoenix area are accomplishing the goals they have established.
What are your volunteer activities? Vice Chair/Florence Crittenton Teaming Up for Kids 2006 Luncheon, Board Member Valley of the Sun United Way, Honorary Co-Chair Catwalk for Charity Luncheon 2005, Board Member Cronkite Endowment Board/ASU
Which social event is your favorite? PCH Beach Ball. We had a blast!
Favorite Restaurant? North at Kierland
Who is your hero and why? Professionally it's John Hogan, President and CEO of Clear Channel Radio for his courage and vision. Personally it's my father. He passed away in 2000. He was my hero because of his openness and his graciousness to all around him. He always had a kind word and everybody loved him.
Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever met? Prince Andrew, The Duke of York.
If your life were a movie, whom would you want to play your part? Renee Russo.
What gives a woman/man style? A sense of self . . . being comfortable with who they are.
Do you have any Pets? Yes, we have a cat, Cinnamon, who's a year and a half.
When you move, what will your home tell its next owner, about you? That a real life was lived here-- full of family, friends, laughter, tears, love and peace.
What words describe you best? Strong, fair, thoughtful, caring, driven, funny.
What words would you like others to use to describe you? Thoughtful, caring, fun, ethical, inspiring . . . a good friend.
What was your first job? Out of college, Sales Assistant for Roslin Radio Sales in Los Angeles.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Second -guessing myself . . . not trusting my instincts.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Self-importance.
What is your greatest indulgence? My car . . . my daughter wanted an SUV with a built-in DVD player. I got the Mercedes.
What is the greatest gift you have ever given and received? The gift of friendship. It truly is the greatest gift I have ever received. It is a gift that sustains me. I believe it is one of the greatest gifts to be given as well, but for me it's the gift of letting people know what they mean to me and how they impact my life and inspire me. I believe that is a very rare gift.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? Today, it's my daughter Lily. She is the best thing that's happened to me.
What is your current state of mind? Hopeful, optimistic about the future.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Reaching the professional level that I have as a Senior Vice President with Clear Channel Radio. I started out in sales and now run the Southwest Region. It is a great feeling to accomplish what I have in my industry.
What is your most treasured possession? My memories of my Dad, Harry. He was a wonderful man.
What is the quality you most like in a man? Integrity.
What is the quality you most like in a woman? A sense of humor and a sense of style.
Favorite books / Writers? Business . . . Jack Welch Personal, it's all about parenting for me. Right now I'm on my second reading of Emotionally Intelligent Parenting.
What is the best advice you have ever received? Be who you are. . . be true to yourself.
You have had such a positive impact on our community through your leadership with Clear Channel Radio...keep up the good work!
It's so neat to see articles written about you. But it's better to know you, the special friend that you are. You're great!
Good Job Auntie!
Sooo Proud of YOU !