Suzanne Scheideker Cook

Suzanne Scheideker Cook

Suzanne Scheideker Cook

People watching and story-telling have been favorite hobbies of mine since I can remember. People are mesmerizing in their diversity. One of my favorite places to do people watch is at the little coffee and pastry shop at the Agua Caliente Spa and Resort in Palm Springs. It is next to the hotel’s registration area and main entrance. I love to watch everyone come and go. I wonder about their lives. When I worked for the City of Los Angeles, I had two favorite spots to people watch which were Café St. Michele’s and Bob’s Big Boy Hamburgers in the Los Angeles Mall. At break and lunch, I would sit at an outside table or by the window and watch politicians, business people, my fellow workers, and tourists busy in conversations or focused on getting errands done.

Working for the City of Los Angeles was endlessly fascinating because I worked with people from all walks of lives and professions on diverse and complex projects such as the Central Library, the expansion of the Los Angeles Convention Center, and the Griffith Park Observatory. I still remember watching the news covering the raging fire that burned the Central Library to the ground. I did not know then that I would handle the contract compliance requirements for the rebuilding of this historic jewel. When the Griffith Park Observatory was severely damaged during one of Southern California’s infamous earthquakes, it was closed to the public. I handled the contract compliance requirements for the seismic retrofit and rebuilding of the Observatory as well as the project expanding the Los Angeles Convention Center. I loved working on these projects because they are “people places” where stories are created.

My partner, Diana Reyes Williams, and I now own a boutique consulting business, Strategic Ventures. Our areas of expertise include transportation, construction, infrastructure, budgets and financial management, operational processes, strategic planning, and building public-private partnerships.

As I rose through the ranks, there were less and less women in the room. Adding to this is that I work in industries that are heavily male-dominated. Through these experiences, I have learned to listen carefully to others and speak up whether it is one-on-one or in front of a crowd. My personal and professional experiences inspired me to write “A Mentor At Your Fingertips”. I wrote it for individuals who work in conservative industries who do not have a personal mentor. For many years, I have written articles for industry-specific publications. Now, my writing has expanded to include creative non-fiction. I am excited to be a contributor to Wordsmith magazine and am looking forward to creating a monthly newsletter with the Wordsmith team.

My hobbies are people watching, traveling with my hubby and friends, spoiling my fur babies, gardening, visiting bookstores, and trying the recipes shown on the Food Network. I would love to hear from you.

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