Founder & CEO, McPherson Strategies
Susan McPherson is a serial connector, angel investor, and corporate responsibility expert. She is the founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy focusing on the intersection between brands and social impact, providing storytelling, partnership creation and visibility to corporations, NGOs and social enterprises. She’s a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company and Forbes and has 25+ years experience in marketing, public relations, and sustainability communications. She is a featured speaker at industry events including Net Impact, Inspirefest/Dublin, Center for Corporate Citizenship’s Annual Summit, DLD, TOA Berlin, and Techonomy. Susan founded and hosts the bi-weekly #CSRChat on Twitter and is a regular guest on a variety of podcasts.
Currently, Susan invests in, and advises women-led technology start-ups, including News Deeply, Hint Water, Apolitical, Arlo Skye, GoldBean and The Muse. She serves on the boards of USA for UNHCR, Girl Rising, The PVBLIC Foundation, and the Lower Eastside Girls Club, and previously served on the board of Bpeace. Additionally, she is a member of the MIT Solve Women and Technology Leadership Group and serves as an adviser to several nonprofits, including Girls Who Code, Ocean Collective, She’s The First, The Adventure Project, and The OpEd Project. Susan is a Vital Voices global corporate ambassador and was named as one of Fortune’s 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter, 40 Women to Watch Over 40, Elle Magazine’s Top 25 Women on Twitter and Fast Company’s 25 Smartest Women of Twitter. @susanmcp1
To be a better human being than I was the day before and to always be grateful for everything I have.
Even though we are living in challenging times, it’s important to keep pushing forward with positive spirit and forward-looking attitude. This is NOT the time to throw in the towel.
Pick up the phone and call a long-lost friend or relative to say hello or handwrite a note to thank someone for a kind gesture.
Insure I have done one thing to showcase the wonderful work of another. Shine that light brilliantly for the world to see.
It’s really going to be all right. Believe that in your heart.
What do you love most about Your City?
New York City is like a foreign country plopped into the United States. In just one day, you can literally interact with individuals who have hailed from far and distant lands. I love that it all works. And yes, of course, there is racism and bigotry like in much of this complicated country, but in my experience, New Yorkers are far more tolerant, progressive, accepting and open. And given our close proximity to each other, you can actually talk to people and they’ll speak back to you!
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Nutritionists with scold me, but I typically do not eat breakfast. I will drink a strong coffee with lots of warmed skim milk (essentially a café au lait) to power me through the morning. If I were to dine out for breakfast, there is nothing better than a leisurely nosh at Soho’s classic Balthazar. You just feel like you’ve been plopped in the middle of Paris. And a second, more casual choice would be Sullivan Street Bakery. The egg-sandwiches are the perfect comfort food.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Honestly, cuddling with my darling rescue pup, Phoebe while listening to NPR.
10:00 AM – Could be any one of the following: answering the constant barrage of emails, tweeting, meeting with a client or working with a member of my team on any number of projects.
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
The avocado toast at Gotan is hand’s down the BEST in all of New York City.
7:00 PM – One of three things: Either, I am on the step mill at the YMCA (across from my apartment) which is the only machine that provides a similar workout to running 6-8 miles. I was a marathoner for years but due to foot injuries, those days are long gone. Or, I am at an event, whether a book launch, a charity fundraiser, a client gathering or dining with friends. And last but not least, an occasional date with someone I have met on one of the plethora of dating apps!
11:00 PM – Responding to emails, planning out the next day, getting ready for bed and hopefully snuggling with Phoebe.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)? So much water. Years ago when I lived with a Danish family in Copenhagen during college, my Danish “father” told me my insides were going to rust given the sheer amount of H2O I consumed. And yes, I admit it, I am a Diet Coke fan but limit myself to a maximum of one per day. In the evening, I adore a glass of Spanish or Italian white wine.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Email is naturally the most used. But I do have a fondness for Twitter, mainly to engage rather than push content out. Slack is becoming more and more important and, as I am single, I find myself perusing Bumble when on the Subway. Favorite Instagram accounts would be one of the following: @NewYorkerCartoons (often so hysterical), my sister, @Nespector for cutting edge art and @SarahSophieF, for her up to the minute political activism and lastly @NatGeo for nature at its best
What should everyone try at least once?
Speak to someone who doesn’t share your views.
Something that literally scares you silly.
Fall in love.
Kiss a puppy on her tummy.
Where do you enjoy getting lost? I still love to get lost in the vastness of NYC. I’ve lived here for over 15 years, yet there is always some place new to discover. And also every time I am in a far away land.