Suzi and Hayden

Three things I'm happiest to have done are:
(1) Marry my husband -
he's an angel
from God . . .
I believe God sent him so
that I could have someone who would
really love me, unconditionally.

(2) give birth to my son
("I love you mommy" will turn around even the
worst day)

(3) start my own business

Other than my spouse, the person I'd most like to go out with is . . .
Since my husband is a brunette, I'd
like to try some blonds . . . Sting, Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer (isn't he blond?) . . . do blonds really have more fun? Hugh Jackman
is looking pretty good as of late, too!

Guests at my fantasy dinner Just my family and people whom I have lost in my life, which includes my father, my best girlfriend while I was growing up,
all four of my grandparents, my husband's younger brother and his grand-mother, and my doggie Shayna. I'd like to see them all again, one last time.

If a wannabe communicator asked for one piece of advice, I'd say . . .
Find something you love - your passion - and stick with it. Listen to the signs around you, and your life will tell you what it is that you are meant to do.



The Voice Newsletter Team in Three Installments . . .
(Pictured at right:
Melissa McGrath-Klusmeyer,
Lynn Halbardier, and
Suzi Berman)

Member Spotlight: Suzi Berman
By Sandra Lynn Pulley

After two consecutive years of our Dallas Chapter of AWC being recognized for Outstanding Newsletter during the AWC Annual Conference, it seems appropriate and perhaps even overdue for us to introduce three women who play a key role in pulling together and making successful our monthly publication, The Voice. In alphabetical order, they are Suzi Berman, Lynn Halbardier, and Melissa McGrath-Klusmeyer. Of course it takes the efforts of many additional chapter members writing articles and providing content, but it is these three who make up the official newsletter team.We start with Suzi Berman this month and will feature one each month through December.

Graphic design is a passion of Suzi Berman, creative director of the Dallas-based, 100% woman-owned Texas corporation and graphic design studio, D Media, Inc.

Suzi graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a communications degree in adver-tising, with specialization in the creative sequence of copywriting and art direction. She did her internship in television, landed her first job working for a citywide newspaper, and then went to a graphics/print agency before getting hired away by one of her clients who loved her work. She worked for that client in an in-house corporate publications/PR/advertising department for four years before starting her own design studio. She has worked in the communications industry-specifically graphic design and marketing communications-for 12 years.

As a creative director, Suzi helps companies create a unique, identifiable visual image through materials such as brochures, corporate identity and branding, direct mail, annual reports, and Web sites. She believes that her clients keep coming back to
D Media because they know that the company will meet deadlines, offer creative ideas, keep projects within budget, foresee potential problems, bring attention to details the client may have overlooked, and make the client-and their projects-look good. Suzi says, "That makes me feel good."

Involvement with The Association for Women in Communications began for Suzi back when she was in college at UT. She even recalls taking a field trip during college where she attended an AWC (then WICI) conference in Dallas!

Since hooking up with the Dallas Professional Chapter of AWC, Suzi has already served on the newsletter committee for two years. When asked what grammatical thing makes her nuts, she confided that there are too many to mention...using their instead of there, your instead of you're, using hyphens instead of m-dashes and n-dashes, not using correct grammar and punctuation in e-mails, typos on resumés, and the list goes on . . .

Since she is a designer rather than a writer, however, a more appropriate question to ask Suzi was, "What is the design thing that makes her nuts?" Suzi responded, "It drives me crazy when I tell people I'm a graphic designer and they say, 'Oh, I can do graphic design because I took a Photoshop/Web design/whatever program class.' They don't realize it, but that is insulting to those in my profession."

Having trained at a four-year university to do what she does and then continuing to take at least one design class each semester (up until the time she became pregnant) in order to keep her design skills current, Suzi continues to work diligently to keep her knowledge pertaining to her profession up to the minute and on the cutting edge. Suzi adds, "Design is not just what you can do with a (software) program. It is the creativity that comes from inside you and how you use software as a tool to make it communicate your original ideas. Design is not haphazard and just making things look pretty. I have a strategic reason for just about everything I design. My designs come from a marketing standpoint of trying to get a specific message to a defined target audience. The strategic selection and placement of colors, fonts, graphics, photography, copywriting, graphic elements, etc. - all based on marketing concepts - that is what I believe is the art of graphic design."

As with many creative folks, Suzi's creativity thrives at night. She says she sometimes even designs in her dreams! Consequently, jammies are her favorite clothes to work in. Too bad she can't wear them at the office during the day!

If she were not a communicator, Suzi says she would be an artist, teacher, or actress. She's already thought forward to her retirement and believes she'll be "dog gone busy." She says, "I want to write a few books - some fiction novels and at least one about my life experiences." Suzi shares that she has already had a lot happen to her in life so far. She'd also like to write and illustrate some children's books, start a nonprofit organization helping other nonprofits, go back to school and be a permanent scholar - she loves literature, history and art - and she has a few more businesses she wants to start (entrepreneurial ideas come to her at night, too). She also plans to someday publish a book of poetry that was written by her grandfather, her brother-in-law (may they each rest in peace), and herself. Having never yet been out of the United States, Suzi would also like to travel the world. She wants to go back to traditional art-painting, drawing, and sketching. She wants to teach graphic design in a local collage someday, as well. Lastly, Suzi wants to go back to the theater and try out for "old lady" parts when she's in her 70s or 80s, as she was heavily involved in theater during her high-school years and loved it.

One thing that Suzi learned on her own that no one could have told or taught her is that, if you approach your career-life with confidence and authority, others will sense that you know what you are doing and where you are going. Even if you feel lost and unsure at times, it's confidence in your own abilities that will pull you through and draw others to believe in you, too.

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D Media, Inc.