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COVER STORY
Untitled Page

Sue Swenson

President and CEO of Irvine-based Sage North America

20 Women to Watch, continued ...Published: March 01, 2011

Hometown: Rancho Santa Fe

Family:
Husband, Darrell

First job:
My very first job was selling milk at lunchtime in the fifth grade. My first job out of college was working for a collection agency.

Worst job:
Every single job has challenged me to develop new skills and perspectives, so I don’t think I’ve ever had an overall worst job.

Biggest break:
Working for people who gave me a chance, even when I didn’t have years of experience

Secret to your success:
People matter, and my glass is always half full.

Advice to other women in business: 
Focus on the job and do your best regardless of the situation. Also, be sure to make every effort to work where your values are aligned with whom you work. It will make the challenges much easier.

Favorite app for personal use:
Facebook

Swenson took the helm of business software leader Sage in mid-2008 and has developed a leadership team that is driving a customer-centric culture that bridges the company’s many businesses and delivers a common brand promise. During her tenure, Sage’s brand recognition has risen more than 30 percent, and in 2009 alone, the company added 123,000 customers (the total number now stands at 3.2 million), helping to ensure that Sage remained competitive even during the toughest economic climate in decades.
   
This year, Swenson’s goal is to continue to create “a common culture across Sage’s many businesses that is focused on putting the needs of customers at the center of every decision we make,” she says. “And that involves not just our people, but our products and processes.”
   
In December, Swenson announced she would retire in mid-2011. But don’t think you’ll be seeing the last of her. She still serves on the boards of Wells Fargo Bank and Eltek Inc., a telecom power company headquartered in Norway.




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