Suesse receives Second Wind Hall of Fame award

Published 8:30 pm Thursday, May 18, 2017

Gwen Suesse was presented the Second Wind Hall of Fame award recently at the annual meeting of the Tryon Concert Association, which sponsored her. The award reads in part, “In recognition of a useful and productive life, continuing beyond retirement, while others paused to rest, this dedicated person caught a ‘second wind’ and began a new career of service to the community and to mankind.”

Suesse grew up in Germantown in upstate New York. She graduated from high school there and then attended Wagner College in New York City, where she received a B. A. in music. She then received a M.A.T. degree from Harvard University. After graduating Suesse taught choral music, and met her future husband, Jack Suesse, when he came to her school to do the lighting for a production of West Side Story. Six weeks later they were married. They traveled all over the world as Jack became well-known and in demand for his specialty in theatrical rigging. It was a trip to the Peace Center in Greenville, S.C. that first brought them to this part of the world, where they ultimately decided to make their home.

Gwen and Jack were married for 37 years. They had two children, Jennifer and Ned. During the years before they came to Tryon, Suesse was a teacher, homemaker and helper to Jack in his business. She earned certification in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator training, and started her own human resources consulting business. In 2012 Suesse became a Martha Beck Certified Life Coach. She is also a certified grief support coach, receiving her training through the Creative Grief Studio. However, she never gave up her love for choral singing. She started a children’s choir in upstate New York and worked as assistant director for the nationally known Syracuse Children’s Chorus.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

After moving to Tryon, Suesse got involved in her new community. She became a volunteer for Hospice of the Carolina Foothills and joined the board of the Tryon Concert Association in 2004, later becoming president of the board. Upon joining the Foothills Music Club, she became director of the group’s chorale, which performs at the club’s public concerts.

Suesse is also a published author. Her book, “Womansong: Balance and Harmony in a Feminine Key,” won a Bronze Prize in the 2010 Independent Publisher Awards, as well as being named Winner in the Women’s Issues Category by Indie Excellence Book Awards.

While serving as president of the board of the Tryon Concert Association, Suesse has shepherded the organization to a new level of functioning consistent with the changing demands of the marketplace of our time. The Tryon Concert Association is proud to sponsor her for membership in the Second Wind Hall of Fame.

– article submitted by Carol Bartol