Suzanne Tucker is an entrepreneur who thrives on the challenge of creating and operating businesses. Walking is another of the Penngrove resident’s passions, so when she got a chance to apply her business acumen to helping out one of her own favorite community resources, she was eager to jump in and help.
Tucker, who holds advanced degrees in public policy and business, was recently invited to join the 19-member board of the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation, the fundraising arm for Sonoma County Regional Parks. As a board member, she works to raise money for projects while serving as a parks ambassador in the community and overseeing staff and budgetary issues for the foundation.
“I want to preserve the parks in our immediate area,” the 69-year-old said. “We have these beautiful parks that are under appreciated.”
She spent time prior to opening her own creative agency, One Stop Graphics, working as an “in-house entrepreneur” for Wells Fargo. Using skills honed during her time with Wells Fargo, she had an idea that the development of desktop publishing was going to change the way that print materials were prepared.
After launching One Stop Graphics in the 1980s, Tucker found that, indeed, computers were altering her entire field of business and she was at the forefront of the change.
Tucker, who was named female entrepreneur of the year by the National Association of Women Business Owners, decided that she could contribute by using her background in marketing to help promote the bountiful vistas of Sonoma County’s 50 parks.
“We’re pleased to raise the level of the parks’ publicity,” she said. “Our special sauce is our creativity to help something stand out.”
A passionate advocate for small businesses, Tucker has been a member of the Petaluma Chamber of Commerce, as well as serving on Petaluma’s Economic Development Committee.
“I love Petaluma so much and part of its appeal is the strong sense of community that you can feel here,” she said. “I think that the business community has a lot to offer to help foster that sense of community; there should be a balance between protecting the quality of life and sense of commitment that businesses should all have.”
Tucker believes there needs to be a balancing act between protecting our quality of life and sense of community with fostering an active business community.
“We need to maintain an ongoing conversation about sustainability and energy consciousness as well as maintaining a healthy tax base to support the infrastructure,” she said.
The Oklahoma native has also made it her personal mission to visit as many parks as possible this summer.
“I don’t think I’ll make them all in just one summer, but I’m going to try,” she said.
(Contact Lynn Schnitzer at email@example.com.)
AT A GLANCE
Name: Suzanne Tucker
Occupation: Owner of “One Stop Graphics.”
Family: Husband, William Theile.
Education: Bachelor of arts degree in public and international affairs from Wellesley College, master’s in public affairs from the University of Pittsburg, MBA from Kellogg Graduate School.
Hometown: Oklahoma City, Okla., been in Petaluma three years.
Award: Woman entrepreneur of the year from the National Association of Women Business Owners.
Community service: Petaluma Community Foundation, Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation.
Hobbies: “I like walking in parks, movies, travel and reading.”
Book: “The Spy Who Loved: the secrets and lives of one of Britain’s bravest wartime heroines” by Claire Mulley.
Favorite Petaluma-area hangouts: “Dempsey’s for casual and Cucina Paradiso for more dress-up occasions.”
Websites: onestopgraphics.com; sonomacountyparksfoundation.org