Prestigious Women Awards Honorees: Susie Levan

Susie Levan is a spiritual warrior, author, philanthropist, community leader, certified non-denominational pastoral counselor, hypnotherapist, teacher of meditation, life coach, and Reiki master/teacher. For 30+ years, she’s helped women live their best lives. She recently donated $40,000 to eight local non-profits from the sales of her book, “Getting To Forgiveness.”


Favorite quote: After my Near-Death Experience (NDE) in 1988, my entire life changed radically. Over the last 32 years I’ve come across so many quotes that are so powerful and speak to me, that I could fill a book, but this quote I hope speaks to us all as women.

“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

Fun fact: I’m an obsessed meditator and knitter. For this holiday season, I made 16 blankets for grandkids, family, and friends.

How do you unwind after a long day of work? I’m extremely fortunate and grateful that I get to live near the water. I go outside to my back patio which faces the water, sit on a rocking chair under my cabana with my amazing fur baby, Blu (a blue merle mini poodle), and eat a strawberry pop and while he gets to lick his doggy ice cream. It’s heaven.

What challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them? I have faced many challenges in my 48-year career. I have to say that my biggest challenge was when in 1988, having been a victim of a crime, I had to resign (after 16 years) from my job, at a NYSE publicly traded male-dominated company. I started with the company in 1972 and, by 1984, had moved up the ladder and broken the glass ceiling to become the first female Chief Operating Officer/Executive Vice President in the company.

What has been the most monumental moment of your career thus far? Thus far, after being a victim of a crime, and having a Near-Death Experience in 1988, going to school to become a certified pastoral counselor, hypnotherapist, teacher of meditation, life coach, reiki master—all of these have been life-changing and beyond monumental. However, my most current monumental moment has been writing my memoir, “Getting to Forgiveness—What a Near-Death Experience Can Teach Us About Loss, Resilience and Love,” with the foreword written by Gloria Estefan.

Who are your role models? Positive role models influence our actions and motivate us to strive to uncover our true potentials and overcome our weakness. Having them pushes us to make the most of our life. Role models are a must for self-improvement because we must have a standard to strive for or compare ourselves with.

My husband has been my biggest role model. He influences me by his example and behaviors every day! His exceptional ambition and determination, personal inner strength, perseverance, persistence, integrity, and self-control are only a few of the many traits I admire and try to emulate. He’s empathetic and compassionate. He inspires me to become the best version of myself. He’s the yang to my yin.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? Wake up every morning with an optimistic, positive view of life. Time and your health are the most valuable things you have—treat them both wisely.

What advice would you give a young woman at the start of her career? What advice would you give a young woman at the start of her career? The advice I would give a young woman would be to believe and stay true to yourself.

• Do what you love.
• Dreams only remain dreams until you take action.
• Trust your instincts as they speak louder than words!
• Remember to respect yourself, be kind, patient, confident and authentic.
• Say yes to all opportunities that come your way—there’s no responsibility beneath you as everything you do will be a training toward who you become.
• Forgive and move on.
• Change your thinking and change your life.
• Give yourself a break—it’s okay to fail—that’s where experience and lessons happen.
• Every choice you make will not only impact your present, but your future.
• Build relationships that will last a lifetime.
• Be YOU!!!

How does being a woman has impacted your career? As a woman and ambitious serial entrepreneur, I can say that keeping all the work and life balls up in the air at the same time (personal responsibilities, kids, business deadlines, payroll, etc.) were a bit of a struggle, but I never felt disadvantaged because I was a woman. What I did learn as a woman is that it’s all about finding flexibility and balance without apologies and guilt. What I know for sure is that you can have it all, but not all at the same time.

You May Also Like

2023 Prestigious Women Awards Honoree: Jennifer Saint Louis

Dr. Jennifer Saint Louis serves as the Associate Vice President for Strategic Partnerships & Innovation at Broward College. In this role, she provides leadership for community-wide relationships aligning with the college’s Social Enterprise Plan. Providing operational oversight for municipal, agency, and employer partnerships, using a data-driven approach, her division expands and strengthens county-wide collaboration following

2023 Prestigious Women Awards Honoree: Julie Williamson-Bresset

Julie Williamson-Bresset has been blessed to have a 25+ year career in Finance/ Wealth Managment, all in the South Florida market. As a fifth-generation Floridian, Williamson-Bresset cares deeply about the community and uses both time and resources to invest in helping in every area. As a mother of four incredible kiddos, four cats, three dogs,

2023 Prestigious Women Awards Honoree: Denise Rubin

In a notoriously competitive South Florida real estate market, Denise Rubin stands out as a top producer in history and has amassed a room full of awards, including 32 “BEST” awards from the Builders Association of South Florida and seven-time Best Real Estate Professional of the Year. Rubin breaks records in the real estate industry,

2023 Prestigious Women Awards Honoree: Laurie Spector

A top-ranked real estate advisor affiliated with COMPASS in South Florida, Laurie Spector has been recognized as a RealTrends America’s Best Real Estate Professional. She is a member of the invitation-only Master Brokers Forum, the COMPASS Club, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, as well as the Neighborhood Choice Realtor in Rio Vista. Laurie is

Other Posts

2023 Prestigious Women Awards Honoree: Susan Colton

Susan Colton taught in public school classrooms and served as a highly respected, nationally recognized principal for thirty-two years. She is a speaker, trainer, and facilitator specializing in building positive relationships with diverse communities and putting students “at the top of the organizational chart.” She also served as Director of Leadership Development for Broward County

2023 Prestigious Women Awards Honoree: Paige Pavlik Garrido

Paige Pavlik Garrido is the Assistant Director of Executive Education at FAU’s College of Business. Paige leads the Corporate Training Division, where she works with Florida’s leading organizations to help identify workforce skills deficiencies, build a curriculum to address the organization’s particular needs and deliver customized professional development training to raise organizational productivity and innovation.

2023 Prestigious Women Awards Honoree: Christine Barney

In 1989, Christine Barney moved to Miami and never looked back. Falling in love with the city’s entrepreneurial spirit, Barney joined Bruce Rubin Associates and became a partner within three years of the newly named Rubin, Barney & Birger. She continued to scale the agency, attract the best talent, and keep clients and staff for

2023 Prestigious Women Awards Honoree: Jessica Levy

As President and Founder of Levy Public Relations, Jessica Levy has positioned the firm as a highly recognized PR and marketing agency in South Florida and New York. Levy has a strong work ethic that has been instilled by an entrepreneurial family. She takes great pride in making sure her clients are offered the best