Susan was born in Cleveland, Ohio and currently resides in Richmond, Virginia, and has been in the sales and marketing field for over 20 years in a variety of industries and in the sports marketing field for 14 years. She served as the Chief Marketing Executive for the Richmond tournament of the Champions Tour from 1998-2001, selling sponsorships for that event, for the nationwide Champions Tour and for individual Champions Tour Tournaments in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Naples and Atlanta.
More recently, Susan was responsible for negotiating BNP Paribas as an “Official Sponsor” of the NetJets Showdown featuring Roger Federer vs. Pete Sampras in Madison Square Garden, New York City on March 10, 2008, and on the Tennis Channel and Title sponsorship for the BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup at Madison Square Garden, NYC, March 2, 2009, featuring Venus and Serena Williams, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, on HBO.
She also negotiated sponsorships for Cayman Islands Department of Tourism for the BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, California for 2009 and 2010, the Raymond James/Chris Evert Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic at the Delray Beach Florida Tennis Center for 2009 and 2010, the Dacor Taste of Tennis at the W Hotel in NYC in 2007 and the BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis at the W Hotel in NYC for 2008 and 2009.
She has extensive experience in the sale and negotiation of sports sponsorships and the leveraging of branding opportunities for sponsors with professional events and entertainment enhancement utilizing professional players.
Susan served as Vice President of Development on the Board of Directors of the Richmond Forum, an International Speaker’s Bureau for 10 years. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Richmond Boys Choir and the Willie Lanier Scholarship Fund, which provided college scholarships to under-privileged children.
While working with NFL Hall of Fame football player, Willie Lanier, on a Celebrity Golf Tournament for the Willie Lanier Scholarship Fund, she negotiated with NFL players, sold sponsorships, and raised the most money ever for the charity.
Susan negotiated HAR-TRU’s nationwide sponsorship of the Champions Tour and Rufus C. Phillips, IV, Vice-President Marketing for HAR-TRU, speaking about Susan said: “It was her keen understanding and clear communication of the brand leverage we could achieve through the Champions Tour that convinced us to become involved. Susan worked tirelessly to ensure that we got the most out of our sponsorship, including some fantastic exposure on the Fox Sports broadcasts of the Tour, player appearances, interviews of players for a HAR-TRU promotional video, and a PR event with major media in New York City. I can’t think of anyone I’ve worked with who combines so well solid business experience and marketing savvy with superior interpersonal skills, self-initiative, follow through, creativity and vision.”
Betsy Weinberger, Corporate Communications Manager for American Express Financial Advisers Inc., said: “You were a true pleasure to work with, and you always made me feel that everything was under control and that all the bases were covered. I appreciated your attention to details, your savvy in dealing with all the partners and your tireless effort to make the press conference a grand success. The press conference went off without a hitch, thanks to your consensus building and creativity.”
Henry Brehm, Executive Producer of the Champions (Senior) Tour of Men’s Tennis, referenced Susan as follows: “Our business is quite different as we are marketing entertainment, which is not necessarily a “need” for consumers and businesses. Susan did an excellent job of convincing companies and consumers that our product was a “can’t miss” because her enthusiasm was so genuine.”
Robert W. Woltz, Jr., President of Verizon Communications, referenced Susan as follows: “Susan is a delight and her professional powers of persuasion make it very hard to say “no”. Her unique ability to cultivate and maintain relationships with her clients would be an asset to any organization.”
Susan is married to Olaf Rekowski and has two children, Justin and Chelsea. Justin lives and works in Las Vegas, while Chelsea recently graduated from East Carolina University with a Master’s Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology.