August 06, 2003

Los Angeles — Motivating Performance Through Rewards. That’s the slogan of a new consulting firm co-founded by Susan Schroeder. It may well also be the best way to describe Schroeder, who seems to motivate herself by helping others — something she clearly finds rewarding. As one of The Anderson School’s most loyal and dedicated alumni, Schroeder has a lot to teach everyone — in and out of Anderson — about getting involved and “giving back” to one’s school and community, while simultaneously propelling one’s professional career to grander heights of their own making.

“She does everything at 100 percent,” said Ardena Bartlett, executive director of The Riordan Programs and a friend and colleague of Schroeder’s. Schroeder has volunteered her time with The Riordan Programs, an Anderson School outreach initiative that fosters diversity in the business community by encouraging and preparing individuals from diverse and sometimes disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue higher education in management.

At Anderson, Schroeder, who received her MBA in 1988, has held numerous volunteer leadership positions within the Anderson Alumni association and its board of directors. She co-chairs various events and reunion committees, and speaks at alumni events and to current students. And just last November, Schroeder helped organize The Riordan Programs’ first Basketball Extravaganza, a fundraiser that enabled Los Angeles area youth to participate in a basketball clinic with members of the UCLA Bruins basketball team.

In business, Schroeder has more than 15 years of broad-based experience in finance, human resources and strategy execution in both management consulting and corporate environments. She was a principal consultant at SCA Consulting, a management-consulting firm acquired by Mercer Human Resource Consulting in 2001. Prior to joining SCA, Schroeder spent 12 years in the financial services industry specializing in finance and real estate lending.

Currently, Schroeder is a partner and co-founder of Vivient Consulting, an El Segundo-based consulting firm started last October as an entrepreneurial venture. Schroeder and her two partners utilize exacting financial analysis and a deep understanding of their clients’ businesses to implement compensation and performance measurement programs for executives and employees, as well as board advisory services.

Vivient recognizes each company’s unique perspective and desires to impact all those they represent, especially with compensation and incentive pay. The firm aspires to be what Schroeder and her fellow female partners, Bertha Masuda and Bonnie Schindler, call “change-agents.”

To be change-agents in a male-dominated field — furthermore, in a man’s world — is no small feat. A female founder at SCA provided support for Schroeder early on, teaching her that women can be entrepreneurs, company founders and just plain and simply successful. As someone who has reinvented her professional career in competitive fields several times, Schroeder has spoken and shared her experiences at a recent Anderson Days Tea held for female MBA students admitted to the class of 2005.

Operating mostly in California for public, private, and non-profit clients, Vivient's partners have advised organizations across many industries including financial services, high technology, consumer products, professional services, manufacturing and energy. Thus far, Vivient has extended its business and "given back" to the "middle-market" companies usually underserved by the big consulting companies.

A networker at heart, Schroeder has encouraged other professional service providers amongst Anderson alumni to recommend Vivient Consulting to their own clients, thereby “giving back” to the extended Anderson family once again. These clients have been impressed by Vivient Consulting’s value added and quality results.

Vivient represents a major change in the career path for Schroeder, a path brought into being through her time at Anderson. During her time pursing her MBA degree at Anderson, Schroeder says she learned how to always take the initiative and pursue exactly what she wanted.

“Anderson teaches its students to be team-focused. When I attended Anderson, the school had limited resources and many activities had to be student-run if they were to be run at all,” Schroeder said. This experience encouraged and taught Schroeder and her fellow classmates to be very entrepreneurial.

As the committee chair for her 15-year reunion this fall, Schroeder looks back on numerous classmates who have since started their own businesses or done something entrepreneurial after first gaining experience by going the more corporate route. She finds the sheer numbers of those types striking.

“Anderson produces these great leaders who simultaneously have a philanthropic bent too. They want to give back to their community,” said Schroeder. “Anderson MBAs aren’t the typical self-focused MBA stereotypes you may hear about.”

As a philanthropist herself and an Anderson School MBA mentor, Schroeder should know what the school produces. She always finds top-quality candidates for the MBA program, noted Linda Baldwin, director of admissions for the Anderson School. Schroeder answers any-and-all questions simply “because people did that for [her],” Baldwin said.

Schroeder writes recommendation letters, exudes patience, and basically does whatever it takes to enhance incoming classes, said business partner Bonnie Schindler, who has witnessed first-hand Schroeder’s Anderson School efforts while working with Schroeder at Vivient and SCA.

When she worked at SCA, Schroeder managed a lot of students’ first projects out of college and just saw that they had what it takes to be good future managers, or Anderson material.

“Sue knows what Anderson requires and wants; she has the best recruiting track record I know of,” Baldwin added.

Click the highlighted link to learn more about Schroeder’s recent entrepreneurial venture, Vivient Consulting LLC.

Media Relations