Susan Morrisey

President & CEO

Road to leadership role is circuitous

An education in journalism and early-career experiences in public policy and nonprofit management instilled in me a commitment to the type of work we do.

I wanted to spend my time on interesting, engaging issues that impact people’s lives. I wanted to feel like I was a part of something bigger than myself. Most of all, I wanted to avoid working in a traditional agency, where I envisioned the challenge of the day to be developing creative copy for a bag of potato chips.

After connecting with some like-minded consultants, we set about building SE2. We knew that by sticking to what inspired us, we could do our best work and help clients to succeed.

That meant saying “no” more than we said “yes.”

No to companies hawking products, whose most pressing challenge was gaining market share over their competitors. Yes to organizations facing tough internal and external challenges, like increasing patient safety in hospitals, preventing tobacco addiction, recruiting teachers of color and creating support for affordable health care.

We prided ourselves on being the anti-agency. We resisted structure and shunned process. Our growth was slow, steady and intentional.

Today, our projects are bigger and more complex. They require a rigorous adherence to research, coupled with energetic investigation of new and emerging ways to engage audiences. We have more structure, we use more process.

But we have remained true to our roots and our essential expertise. Distilling complex issues into clear and compelling messages. Looking for inspiration and applying the best lessons learned to local work. Helping clients to tell their unique stories.

And focusing on issues that really matter.

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