Suzanne F. Stantley-Her Story
During her career, Suzanne created or founded more than forty programs or events like “The Salute to Presidents”, “The National Non-Profit Network” and “The Cardiometabolic Disease Association”. And while she spent her early career creating strategies for fortune 500 companies, her desire to positively impact businesses who were unable to pave their way to riches was a much more meaningful undertaking. So, she parlayed her extensive marketing talents and consumer engagement skills and spent two years crafting what would become the National Black Expo. Over time, this event expanded into other cities and became one of the largest events of its kind, proving Suzanne’s tremendous ability to bring people together by attracting more than 150,000 people annually to the Chicago event.
Suzanne discovered that billions of dollars in construction projects were going on in communities in Chicago, and Illinois and throughout the country and that many diverse businesses were not in the loop, not at the table to bargain for, identify and connect with the right decision-makers to land the deals. What she would learn that far too many were unable to land the deal because of their lack of experience, operational prowess and savvy in the commercial construction industry which are central to their inability to land contracts. As was her way, she saw how a problem could be turned into an opportunity and began researching, studying and creating a model that would directly impact their ability to build upon the American dream of inclusion and prosperity...she knew exactly what she had to do.
She took her more than thirty years in marketing, combined with her proven ability to bring people together and parlayed that into yet another venture that focused on bringing businesses, small and large, together to do business. Her vision was to bring diverse businesses, government and private sector project owners, large prime contractors, suppliers and buyers together under one roof where they could coalesce, network and talk about building business relationships. And she named that vision the Construction Industry Conference. She also found that far too many firms were unable to secure surety bonding, an essential instrument in gaining access to commercial construction contracts, which, was yet another hurdle for these firms. So she became a surety bond agent. But, she soon discovered that her talents and energies would be much better placed by becoming directly involved in helping firms build capacity, strengthen their internal operations and understand the rigors of the commercial construction industry...something much more complex than a small construction firm could ever master without structured guidance, direction, training and support.
During her initial years working with diverse firms, and drawing upon the many years of working in the ad business, Suzanne saw an ongoing need for access to information, so she started Building Entrepreneur magazine to provide much needed information and insights and the Construction Development Institute to provide guidance and hands on support.
She is a serial entrepreneur always pursing opportunities that will expand her brand and engagement with the target market she supports. Suzanne has NO plans to stop analyzing market trends and customer needs in her quest to help diverse firms evolve and grow as they strive to be a part of the American dream of inclusion and prosperity. And yes, she has a new program that takes this calling to a national platform, "TOOLS".
Innovative, inspired and engaged…Suzanne F. Stantley, continues to do her part in improving the lives of those who have been left out and forgotten.
Suzanne is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.