Gretchen Sussman is Leading NOW’s Chief Commercial Officer, responsible for developing and implementing the commercial strategies for Leading NOW and its divisions Leading Women, Leading Forward, Gender Dynamics Institute and the Center of Diversity & Inclusion. She honed her keen business sense through diverse career positions spanning 30 years, gaining all-encompassing experience in strategy creation & deployment, revenue optimization, leadership development, and change management. Gretchen’s decades of executive experience developing high-performing teams, successfully leading transformations, and delivering exceptional results across multiple business sectors and industries, make her a valuable asset to Leading NOW’s business and clients alike.
Prior to joining Leading NOW, Gretchen successfully led key IPO initiatives for two start-up companies; pioneered online commerce and international expansion for a North American logistics company; renovated the strategy, organizational structure and customer partnerships for two global B2B organizations; reinvented the volunteer and revenue model for a premier leadership development association; and led the retail and hospitality practice for a change management consultancy, advising senior management teams of Fortune 500 companies around culture, talent, and business transformation. Those organizations include CSM Bakery Solutions, Instill Corporation, Primo Water, Root Inc., Sara Lee Corporation, The Martin-Brower Company, and the Women's Foodservice Forum. Gretchen also held Board positions with for-profit and not-for-profit organizations including International Foodservice Manufacturing Association (IFMA), Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF), New Hope of Indiana (NHI), and Snappy Salads. She was a founding member of the Sara Lee Women’s Network and is a skilled facilitator and requested speaker for conferences, webcasts, and corporate functions on the topics of gender equity, DE&I, and leadership.
Gretchen’s greatest asset lies in her ability to get to the heart of the matter, calling on the best of people’s capabilities, and dissecting the big picture into manageable parts. Her unique ability to provide direct feedback, ask provocative questions in a way that is compassionate and collaborative, leads to greater engagement, and “all in” execution. As an advocate and ally for diversity, equity, and inclusion, she has built a reputation for her empowering leadership style. Gretchen quickly connects purpose, strategy, and actions with the necessary behavioral shifts to bring about immediate, and lasting performance improvement for companies, and the people who lead them.
Gretchen attended the University of Wisconsin River Falls, earned an Executive Leadership Certification from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, and is a certified Executive Coach.