C-Suite: Susan Upchurch

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,038 views 

Class of 2022 C Suite Susan Upchurch Chief Financial Officer Excellerate Foundation, Springdale

Fast fact: Upchurch and her team are responsible for distributing over $14 million in Emergency Rental Assistance program funds to Benton County residents since February 2021.

What’s the most recent on-demand series you’ve watched? “Virgin River” on Netflix. My mom recommended it to me. I wish I could say that I just finished this amazing self-help or leadership book. However, I am a total sucker for a good love story.

If you could change one thing about your leadership style, what would it be and why? I would give praise more often. I know how important it is to tell someone they are doing a good job but, unfortunately, I do not do it often enough.

What is the best business advice you have ever received or given? Seek to understand. There is a very good reason that this is one of the seven habits of highly effective people.

What is one thing you would change about your company if you could today? I would want more people in the community to be aware that we exist. Our foundation was founded to help people in Washington, Benton and Madison counties. We have a division called Hark that was created to connect people to much needed resources in Northwest Arkansas and to follow up to ensure they received the help they were seeking. We have a team of amazing community liaisons and a very robust map of incredible resources.

What is the most used app on your phone? Life360. I have three children in high school and college and a husband who is a cyclist. I love to know when they get safely to their destinations.

If you had $1 million to give, what would you support? Affordable housing and education for adults and pre-K children. I have the privilege of working for a foundation that supports these pillars, and I had no idea how great these needs were in Northwest Arkansas before joining this great organization.

Which supporting skills do you think are most important when it comes to leadership? Listening and understanding that the most important job of a leader is to grow the team so that the organization’s success is not reliant on any one individual.

What do you think is most important in creating a positive culture? Collaboration among all levels of the organization. Everyone on a team comes with different experiences and has unique talents. By taking time to get input from various perspectives, not only do you come out with the best outcome, but you get excitement and buy in from all of those you involved in the decisions.