We had the pleasure of chatting with Sue Phillips, President & CEO of Scenterprises. Sue is one of seven outstanding women being honored at the New York Women of Influence Luncheon on May 13th.
What does it mean to you to be chosen as a Woman of Influence by the T.J. Martell Foundation?
It is such an honor to be chosen by an organization that is so altruistic, and which raises funds for such a worthy cause. Tony Martell is now retired from the music industry, but it was through Music that gave him the impetus to keep a promise to his son to find a cure for cancer, and today the T.J. Martell Foundation has raised over $270 million for leukemia, cancer and AIDS research. Music is so fundamental to my wellbeing, too, as it is one of the joys of life and I grew up in South Africa, surrounded by music and art, inspired by mother. Imagine a world without Music? Imagine a life without any of the Senses? That is why I am so honored to be chosen as a Woman of Influence because it is through the Senses that we can help people bring about positive change; bring HAPPINESS to those in need of it, and also to find a cure through the Senses for these terrible diseases. It is humbling to be honored and to be in the company of so many other remarkable women, and it only makes me want to work even more effectively and strategically to strive to make a greater difference.
What piece of advice would you give to young women today to inspire them to follow their dreams?
As Adjunct Professor at LIM College, I try to motivate and inspire my students to believe in themselves, and to explore their surroundings, as they are living in one of the greatest cities of the world. I tell them that it’s important to fuel their passions and to open themselves to all kinds of opportunities. “You’re living in New York City. Avail yourself of everything that is here; the museums and galleries, lectures and parks. When you go from class to class; look around you, look up at the spectacular New York city views and architecture…keep your eyes open!” There’s so much that can help them in their future endeavors. Many of them are obsessed with reality shows, so I try and broaden their horizons and to inspire them to think exponentially. And, if they fail in their endeavors, my motto is to ‘never give up’ and to keep going! Hopefully they remember my words and dream big!
What steps do you take to make health and wellness a priority in your life?
Having been witness to so many people who have been afflicted with cancer, leukemia, AIDS and Alzheimer’s, I try and live my life in as healthy a way as possible. Exercise and a wholesome diet are important to me, but also incorporating beauty and the joy of Art, Music, Fragrance and other Senses, are ways to enjoy a ‘scentsory’ life, to completely ensure my wellbeing. I believe in the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the highest form of wellness!