We’re celebrating our 26th year in business with a new website and a renewed commitment to doing what we do best — creating breakthrough work for clients we love.
We sat down with our indomitable founder and CEO, Susan Karlin, and asked her 26 questions in honor of our 26th anniversary. Here’s what she had to say.
1. To start, how does it feel to have been in business for more than a quarter century?
Accomplished. I couldn’t have done it without the great talent I’ve been surrounded by over the years. I’m very grateful for the many talented people I’ve worked with in the past and continue to work with today.
2. What’s a day in the life of a Suka employee like?
Planning for the day, collaborating with the team, talking with clients, solving problems.
3. What’s the day in the life of Sue Karlin like?
Up at 5 a.m., work out, meet with the team, look for new opportunities, make calls, send emails, have meetings. Evenings are yoga or dinner plans.
4. What would you say is your “secret sauce”?
Authenticity. Always trying to do the right thing by people. And a strong culture.
5. Print or digital?
6. What’s one project that sticks with you?
The day after 9/11 we developed a poster called Americans Side by Side. We distributed them at Ground Zero, police stations, firehouses. It was inspirational and the most meaningful project to me. We couldn’t help out at Ground Zero, but we could use our talents to help and give hope to others. Today the poster is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian and the 9/11 Museum.
7. If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
I always wanted to be an actress.
8. Coffee or tea?
9. How many cups a day?
10. Who would you want to have coffee with, dead or alive?
Carole King. My idol growing up.
11. How do you manage your busy schedule?
I write everything down. Keep to-do lists.
12. What do your clients mean to you?
Everything. I’m very grateful for the relationships we’ve built over the years. Grateful for their trust in us and for their loyalty.
13. How would they describe Suka?
I’ve heard our clients say we’re a true and trusted partner, a highly creative team that understands their challenges and that has their back.
14. What’s one thing the Suka office can’t live without?
Chocolate and music.
15. Favorite thing to do as a team?
Cook a meal together. We’ve hired a professional chef for our team retreat the last two years and have had a blast creating dishes together and sharing a meal.
16. If you could live in any era, what would it be?
The Wild Wild West. I’ve always wanted to be a cowgirl!
17. Best part about your job?
The relationships I’ve built over the years.
18. Looking 10 years in the future, what would you like to be doing?
I’d like to travel more, take courses, hike, bike, continue to lead an active life.
19. Finish this sentence, “The New York of the future looks…”
…better than ever. It continues to be one of the best cities in the world.
20. What’s the best thing about being in NYC?
It’s my hometown. I grew up here. Anything you want is right here.
21. What’s the worst thing about being in NYC?
Tight living spaces. The noise. The dirt.
22. What’s a cause that’s near and dear to you?
23. What do you want more people to be discussing today?
Respecting each other’s differences. Diversity and inclusion. Acceptance.
24. What was Suka’s first job/project?
Writing and designing ads for the New York Times’ advertisers. We did about 50 ads a week.
25. What’s one book Suka references the most?
Jim Collins’s Good to Great.
26. What’s some advice you would give to yourself when Suka was only 6 (in 1998)?
Take risks, continue to grow professionally and personally, surround yourself with young people — they have a lot to teach us. Spend more time with family and have fun along the way.