Thear Suzuki is Managing Partner of Ernst & Young’s Advisory Services business for the Southwest Region. She provides advisory services to Fortune 500 companies across a wide range of industries, including Energy, Healthcare, Retail/Consumer Products and Telecommunications/Media/High Tech. Prior to joining Ernst & Young, Thear led Accenture’s US Advanced Systems Delivery Practice, an organization of over 500 technologists focused on technology delivery. Within EY, Thear serves on the Americas Advisory Women’s Leadership Steering Committee, a task force focused on the retention and advancement of women to the Executive Director and Partner level. She also serves on the Americas Inclusiveness Advisory Council, a collective think tank and action tank that drives action and progress within the business. Thear is an Executive Sponsor for the Dallas Pan-Asian Professional Network.
In the community, Thear serves on the Board of Directors of the Dallas Women’s Foundation, a non-profit organization that believes that when you invest in a woman, there is a ripple effect that benefits her family, her community and her world. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Dallas Chapter of Back On My Feet, a national for-purpose 501(c)3 organization that uses running to help those experiencing homelessness change the way they see themselves so they can make real change in their lives that results in employment and independent living. Thear is a Senior Advisor for the Dallas Chapter of the National Association of Asian-American Professionals, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the next generation of leaders.
A Biomedical Engineering graduate of SMU, Thear gives back to her alma mater through the SMU James E. Caswell Undergraduate Leadership Fellows Program Steering Committee. Thear has been recognized in Forbeswomen.com, Working Mother’s Magazine, The Little PINK Book, Diversity Inc. and featured in a book by Anne Doyle called Powering Up! How America’s Women Achievers Become Leaders. Thear is a NAAAP 100 award recipient, a prestigious award that recognizes leaders who exemplify NAAAP’s vision and mission. She is also a winner of Consulting Magazine’s “Women Leaders in Consulting Future Leader” award. Thear lives in Plano, Texas with her husband Eric and their four sons Zachary, Ryden, Mason and Alex.
Thear Sy Suzuki
Chinese/Vietnamese born in Cambodia
What does it mean to you to “Go Against The Grain?”:
Going against the grain means…living a life with gratitude, being the first to say I’m sorry, the first to forgive, and the first to lend a hand.
What made you decide to pursue your career path?
My planned career path was to become a doctor. To get work experience and to save money for medical school,I applied for a job in consulting without understanding what consulting was. A couple of years into the job, I realized that consulting was the perfect fit. I love solving problems, working in teams and the leadership opportunities. Traveling and working with different personalities from around the country and around the world has helped me to mature as a professional and as a person. I decided to “stay” in consulting because I enjoy meeting and working with people who inspire me to become a better leader.
What have been some of the challenges you faced/lessons you learned as an Asian American in this field?
Asian Americans are seen as the model minority and high achievers. We are reliable and can be depended upon to work hard and get the job done. We are comfortable working for others, we follow instructions well, and we make great managers. This is where we get stuck, at the lower levels and in middle management. Success in consulting means becoming a leader. A leader who can influence others to drive towards a vision. A leader who wants to make a positive difference in other people’s lives. I have learned that to have a greater impact, I had to be willing to be different, to go against the grain, to be seen and to take calculated risks. I had to get out of my comfort zone and step into leadership. Having a higher purpose and knowing why I do what I do helps me to be “comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment, and why?
My biggest accomplishment was being asked to serve on the Board of the Dallas Women’s Foundation. It combines my profession and my passion…unlocking business resources to help improve lives and communities.
What’s up next?
I look forward to helping with ATG’s expansion into Cambodia. I’m excited about connecting with others who also have a heart for the children there.
Quote to live by: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa
Sign (Eastern Animal Sign & Western Zodiac): Aquarius
Passionate about: Leading with purpose
Favorite food: Anaconda roll at Edoko
Can’t live without: My family