Susan holds a BA from the University of Texas and an MA from Ohio State University, and completed graduate work in international relations at the Sorbonne along with graduate work in education at the University of California, Berkeley. Her education led to a career in teaching, beginning with Head Start and ranging through university levels. Before her successful real estate career, Susan owned the Santa Fe Gallery, which featured 19th century art, pre-1940 American Indian pots, baskets and weavings, Eskimo objects and other eclectic items. Her community involvement has focused on the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society, where she has served for more than 20 years as a board member, and as president, vice president and secretary.