2022 Fellowship Profile: Susan Goodenow

2022 Fellowship Profile: Susan Goodenow

April 28, 2022

Congratulations to Susan Goodenow (ABJ ’90), a 2022 Fellowship inductee.

Goodenow is executive vice president of marketing & communications for the Chicago Bulls, where she is responsible for developing and managing the team’s marketing efforts, directing and integrating all team content and communication and overseeing the team’s community engagement efforts.  

Goodenow graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in public relations (ABJ ’90) and continued her education at Georgetown University with a master’s degree in American studies. She also earned an Executive Scholar Certificate in General Management from the Kellogg Executive Education program at Northwestern University.  

Before joining the Bulls in 2012, Goodenow spent four years with the Boston Red Sox as the senior vice president of public affairs and marketing.  She has also worked for Major League Baseball/Office of the Commissioner, the American Red Cross and public affairs firms in Washington, D.C. 

Goodenow continues to serve UGA as a member of the AdPR Executive Committee and the Alumni Sports Industry Council. A resident of Chicago, Goodenow is also a member of the Gilda’s Club Chicago Governing Board, American Red Cross of Greater Chicago Tiffany Circle and the Economic Club of Chicago.

Following are excerpts from an interview with Goodenow:

Grady College: What is it about your field that appeals the most to you?  Why did you decide to enter that field? 

Susan Goodenow: My choice to enter PR was made, in part, after contemplating a role in broadcasting as a sports reporter. Soon after I started down that path, I realized being in front of a camera is not for me – I break out in hives and cold sweats! – so I decided a role behind the camera was a much better fit. I have always loved words, and it oddly brings me joy when someone lands on the perfect word choice or sentence structure. Growing up I was also intrigued by marketing – more specifically advertising – along with business news and current events, so the combination of those interests with my love of words and my aversion to being in front of the camera made PR a good fit.  

GC:  What do you miss the most about being at UGA? 

SG: Ah, that’s easy – walking through North Campus.

Goodenow, pictured at a work-related event, has always had a passion for words.
GC:  What does this recognition mean to you? 

SG: I am a very proud Georgia Bulldog – just ask anyone who knows me, particularly during football season. I’ve been going to games since I was four years old. My sister and I both graduated from Georgia, as did my brother-in-law. My niece is a junior, and my nephew will be a freshman in the fall.  It is an incredible honor to be recognized by an institution that is so much a part of my family and helped shape who I am.  

GC:  What are your best strategies for keeping up to date with industry advancements? 

SG: The world evolves and changes, so it is important to stay current and adapt. While you may be an expert in something right now, some of your go-to knowledge and skills could someday become funny “do you remember when we did that?” topics, so always stay curious and never stop learning. PR is a profession where you provide strategy and counsel to people and organizations spanning industries and interests that can be affected by a number of internal and external factors. Staying up to date on current events and emerging trends prepares you to be ready in a crisis or when an opportunity to create value comes up. It’s easy to scroll through social and feel like you know what’s going on, but that’s just a surface look. Go beyond the “what” and find ways to dig deeper to learn the “why” and “how” by reading articles and books, listening to podcasts and seeking out interesting people and have conversations with them.  

GC:  Is there anything else you would like to share?

SG: Being in PR can mean you’re always on call, so take time for yourself when you can. Develop interests and hobbies that make you happy. Learn this lesson now, not later. It is something I only recently started to practice and am still not very good at it.  I even bought a sign that reads “Don’t forget to go outside and play” that hangs in my house to serve as a constant reminder.  

This is one in a series of profiles about our 2022 Alumni Award honorees and Fellowship inductees.
All our honorees and inductees will be honored at Grady Salutes: Celebrating Achievement, Leadership and Commitment on April 29, 2022 at Athens Cotton Press.