Mar 10 2022

Q&A with Nicole Suydam, President & CEO, Goodwill of Orange County

Q: In two sentences, give us an overview of your career journey. How did you get from your first professional role to where you are today?
A: This month is special as it marks 25 years since I started my career in the non-profit sector. I’ve had the unique honor of serving two different times with both the Second Harvest Food Bank and Goodwill of Orange County to ensure that people in our community have access to nutritious food, employment opportunities and other resources that will give them a good quality of life.

Q: What’s the best piece of leadership advice you’ve received?
A: Dan Rogers, who was my CEO at Goodwill when I worked there the first time, inspired our leadership team to be servant leaders and to lead with kindness. I carry his legacy of servant leadership and kindness forward today at Goodwill.

Q: What aspect of your job excites you out of bed in the morning?
A: The mission of my organization and knowing that my job contributes to giving someone with a barrier to employment the opportunity to experience purpose, pride and dignity through the power of work.

Q: How do you manage high-pressure situations?
A: I have trained myself to remain calm and professional in high-pressure situations. I also lean on a few trusted advisors as sounding boards and make it a priority to exercise regularly to clear my head and manage stress.

Q: What is your favorite way to unwind after a long week?
A: Relaxing with my family at home with take-out for dinner and a movie, but they give me a hard time for falling asleep during most movies.

Q: What is your favorite part about living in Orange County?
A: I love that people in OC are generous with their time and resources and readily support their favorite organizations making an impact in OC.

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