American Business Women’s Day
WHF-PA Member Feature:
Susanne Stone, Co-Owner & Principal of Stone Sherick Consulting Group, LLC
Each year on September 22, is American Business Women’s Day. It is a day set aside to honor and reflect on the contributions and accomplishments of the millions of women in the workforce, and the millions of women business owners, in the United States. It’s also a day to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations to provide opportunities to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking and national recognition.
In honor of American Business Women’s Day, WHF-PA is highlighting the work and accomplishments of one of its members, Susanne Stone, co-owner and Principal of Stone Sherick Consulting Group, LLC. Founded in 2002 as Sherick Project Management, Inc., Stone Sherick Consulting Group (SSCG) is a certified WBE consulting firm specializing in Real Estate Development and Owner’s Representative Services for residential, commercial and industrial real estate development projects.
As Principal of SSCG, Susanne has, along with her partner Joseph Sherick, grown the company to include nine employees, each with substantial experience and expertise in affordable housing development finance, urban planning and redevelopment, and construction management. Over the last 25 years, SSCG has been involved in the development and completion of over 18,000 dwelling units, and more than 900,000 square feet of commercial and industrial development, totaling a value of over $2.2 billion. Through hard work, determination and business savvy, Susanne has helped guide SSCG to become one of Pennsylvania’s premier affordable housing development consulting firms.
WHF-PA recently met with Susanne to learn more about her career path and the advice she’d share with others as a woman leader in the affordable housing development industry.
Tell us a bit about yourself. I live in Philadelphia with my two teenagers and life is really great for me now, in every way. I have a wonderful and loving family, I have the best business partner one could have, and the absolute most stellar crew of employees in Stone Sherick history!
Affordable housing development has historically been a male-dominated industry. How did you break into it and what were some of your challenges along the way? I got into the affordable housing industry by way of city government and the social work field. I learned on the job and have been at it for 25 years, so the “break in” was slow. The challenges along the way have been mostly self –imposed – whether life events or not trusting my instinct, or being too tentative.
How did your career path lead you to being co-owner and Principal of Stone Sherick Consulting Group? I have always been driven and hard working and somewhat of a Queen Bee….it was natural for me to want to be responsible for shaping and creating a company that was reflective of my passion and vision for affordable housing.
Stone Sherick has done a lot of important work throughout Pennsylvania, and in Philadelphia in particular. What are your goals for Stone Sherick in the near future? My immediate goal for SSCG is to continue to provide high quality services, all the time….and to always learn something new, have fun and to have the proper work/life balance – for all of us at SSCG. My other big goal is to continue to expand outside of PA into NY, MD, DE, VA and NJ. We have done quite a bit of work in MD and DE and would like to do more – and we have begun to work in VA, NJ and NY which is exciting, new, and challenging.
Who and/or what has been the biggest influence in your success? I can think of three women who made a huge impact on the ‘work’ me. Councilwoman Happy Fernandez taught me that my ideas and thoughts were worth hearing, and to be a good listener. Joan McConnon at Project HOME taught me the nuts and bolts of the industry, and that the details matter. Helen Brown gave me license to not take any crap from anyone, ever. All three taught me that it is important to be strategic, smart, and always do the right thing.
What is the biggest piece of advice you have for women business owners? Relax, you got this.