Suzanne celebrated her 22nd OC anniversary this year, and she’s been here with us at OstermanCron since almost the very beginning. We took this opportunity to pick her brain and dig a little deeper into her time at OC and find out what kernels of wisdom she has to pass on to the rest of us!
If I had to choose three words to describe OstermanCron, they’d be—compassionate, energetic, and forward-thinking.
Originally, it was Joel Osterman that drew me here. When he and Keith co-founded OstermanCron, Joel focused the company’s attention on the importance of character and our core values. This always came first, and it was far more important to him than achieving sales goals. He strongly believed in community service and centered our company activities around fundraisers, walks, and charity events—and we all became better for it. So I’d say that character is the cornerstone, and doing the right thing is what has helped me stay. That, and I love what I do!
I love a good challenge—and what I love most about my job is that it’s always changing. I don’t ever feel that I do the same thing every day. In this industry, there’s always something new being designed, a new product coming out, new technology developed, and new design trends or even old ones coming back. There’s always something entirely new to work with and incorporate into a project. For me, it’s always fun and interesting to see how the products and design trends change over time, and all the fluctuations and changes definitely keep me on my toes!
Mercy Home Office and Acosta have been my favorite projects so far—Acosta was actually my first project with OstermanCron when I started 22 years ago, and I’m still working on projects with them today! However, winning the Mercy Home Office project is one of my proudest moments and biggest accomplishments. Before winning Mercy Home Office, we had moved them from multiple locations into one single location, and when they decided to build another office, I wanted us to be the ones to move them once more. It was the largest project I had worked on at the time, and it set me up for future successful projects like Ensemble, another large project.
I put my focus into listening to the clients and hearing or figuring out together what their specific needs are. By doing this and working with our clients, I can design in a manner that meets their needs and is functional, and optimizes their space while being aesthetically pleasing! We go into each project with compassion and the desire to truly meet our clients’ needs, so at the end of the day, we’re all satisfied with the outcome and work we’ve accomplished.
I interact with everyone within OC through the various events and activities we hold at OstermanCron and am on committees like outreach and fun that aim to bring us together and engage us in the core principles that make up OC.
As both a designer and the design manager, my goal is to grow our team’s expertise and knowledge. I manage our design team, assist them with design checks, and provide input from my wealth of knowledge accumulated over the years. Serving as a mentor and resource for our designers, I help guide them as they become more familiar with the industry and OstermanCron—so we can all be better and do our best work. I also work on my own projects, like Acosta, and assist with projects we need or want an extra pair of hands or eyes on!
All of our designers, myself included, work with our Sales Team as we work with our clients, whether new or existing, current or prospect projects. I also work with our project managers when submitting proposals and navigating issues that may arise with orders or during installation.
I’ve been designing for 35 years now, with 22 of those being at OstermanCron. In that time, I achieved my NCIDQ certification and went from designer to senior designer to design manager. I’ve worked with tens of projects, both big and small, and I’ve met so many amazing people along the way. It’s led to and contributed to my growth as a designer and leader within OstermanCron as well as in other areas of my personal and professional life.
I’ve grown in confidence and skill over the years. With that, I’ve learned to step up and always be a leader—to share my knowledge with others. If I make a mistake, I learn from it and look for how I can avoid the same or similar mistakes in the future. I’m always looking to where I can grow and improve.
Bengal fan, Dance Mom, and Girl Scout Troop Leader are just a few of my unofficial titles outside of OC. I’m a huge Bengals fan and love to go to games with my family. My daughter is a dancer, and I work behind the scenes and curtain with recitals and other shows. I’m also the Troop Leader to seven Amazing Ambassadors and the Troop’s Cookie Manager.
My family is the most important thing to me, and I love spending time with them. So other than going to Bengals games together, we also like to go camping and have family dinners together. We play games, do puzzles, and I love playing pool with my husband. We also have two dogs, Sophie and Brownie, that I love to spoil rotten! I love going shopping for plants with my mom, too—we recently got Zinnias and several kinds of herbs. Other than shopping for plants, I enjoy shopping as a well, whether for something new or going antiquing!
“To always lead—never be afraid of a challenge and always share your knowledge.” — Suzanne Brown, Design Manager of OstermanCron
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