Ionia – Robin Suomi
Robin was born and raised in Ionia County within a strong community network of family and friends. Growing up she enjoyed the small-town quality of life celebrated today throughout America.
Robin began her career as a court reporter, working in freelance and official positions in Florida, Upstate New York and Chicago. She built and sold court reporting firms as she moved throughout the United States. As a court reporter, she learned to listen to both sides of each dispute.
Robin became executive director of the Small Business Development Center in the fastest growing county in Virginia, where she and her staff for nine years helped start and grow thousands of small businesses. During this time, Robin served on the Loudoun County Economic Development Commission and their Marketing and Business Retention committee; the Loudoun County Chamber Board of Directors and their Small Business and Women in Business committees. As adjunct professor at Northern Virginia Community College, she taught Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management and Introduction to Business. Robin also taught business planning courses outside the community college arena, including a business planning course that she created and tailored specifically to the needs of Virginia small business owners. Later, as part of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, she co-chaired the Dulles Executive Women committee for two years, and co-founded the 2016 Business Success Series.
Seeing the advantage of combining her technical expertise with coaching skills as another avenue to empower and encourage her clients, Robin studied with the Coaches Training Institute. As a coach, she is better able to deliver critical advice in ways that resonate with her clients, inspiring them to take action critical to their own success.
Robin earned an AS in Business Administration from Northern Virginia Community College; a BS in Management from George Mason University and an MBA from The George Washington University.
As the Ionia community development fellow, Robin works with the PRT Steering Committee and subcommittees, helping them seek their unique solutions to challenges faced by Ionia while also leveraging their many tremendous assets. She is the community’s catalyst for change as she supports them in achieving their vision. She listens, makes sure stakeholders are heard, helps the community find and implement creative solutions and assists them in telling their success stories.