Sue Diamond: A Few Friends Discuss Her Wonderful Contributions to the Community

Sue Diamond, the 2014 Judith Chapman Memorial Women’s Leadership Award winner, is not only a smart businesswoman, lawyer, and teacher, but also a good friend, mentor, and leader to many in our community. Strong, dedicated, and diligent in both the professional and volunteer worlds of the Bay Area, Sue demonstrates that time, commitment, and thoughtfulness can make a real impact. And Sue is able to do all this in a calm and manageable way. Her persistence and demands for excellence invigorate others to join her cause. Her work is a legacy to the future of the community.

Below are personal statements from just a handful of friends, colleagues, mentors, and mentees who have been touched and positively impacted by Sue’s desire and drive to improve the community.

Barry Finestone (Executive Director at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco):
Sue Diamond exemplifies the spirit of the Judith Chapman Award. She is a tireless volunteer for organizations that range from the local to the national, from Federation to schools to the JCC Association of North America. In all of her roles, Sue is a leader with total commitment, and it shows in the substantial contribution she makes to the health and vibrancy of each organization she works with. Sue’s 11 years of Board service here at the JCCSF culminated in a presidency that steered the JCCSF successfully through the recession and saw the largest Jewish teen event in the world – the JCC Maccabi Games – come to the Bay Area for the first time. Sue’s leadership also touched me personally, as she was the President of the JCCSF during the search that brought me here to San Francisco and the JCCSF. I am still so grateful to have had Sue as a partner on the Board – and as an advocate for staff and Board and the community alike – when I arrived. Kol ha-kavod and sincere thanks!

Allan Finkelstein (president and CEO of JCC Association):
Sue Diamond brings a unique, serious, and thoughtful perspective to her volunteer leadership. She recently chaired a continental task force on Talent Management for the JCC movement, and her presentations captured the interest of both seasoned and newer leaders. In addition, our executive directors responded extremely positively to her thinking, as she was able to raise provocative questions and stimulate active discussion throughout the process. Her contributions to our movement will be impactful through JCCs across the US and Canada for some time!

Nancy Grand (past president of the Federation):
Sue Diamond is an exemplary leader. We first connected when she invited me onto the board of the San Francisco JCC, where she was becoming president. She has such a personal touch, taking time to nurture relationships, and she made sure that each and every board member was connected to the organization and its mission. As a friend, Sue is caring, honest, a brilliant "talker," and an empathetic listener. She's just lovable! Sue has been my role model for leadership because of her focus, commitment, and intelligence. She leads with elegance and grace, and is most deserving of the Judith Chapman Award.

Sophie Ross (friend):
Sue Diamond is one of the most qualified women to be receiving the Judith Chapman Award. She embodies the essence of a modern female leader and has combined her passion for Jewish causes with her many years of experience both on the lay and professional side. In whatever role that Sue has taken on over the years (with the Federation, the JCCSF, AIPAC, and others), she had a major impact on the organization and our community by addressing and embracing some of the most important issues and opportunities to ensure that we’re constantly moving forward and improving. As a Past President of the JCCSF, Sue led the institution through times of change and transition with poise, determination, and excitement about the future. At the end of her tenure, the JCCSF had a strong new executive director in place and was embarking on a growth path which would not have happened without her mastery of “navigation skills.” Sue is also a dear friend and mentor and is always available for most valuable guidance and advice at critical times. Mazal Tov, Sue, and thank you for leading the way and for being an inspiration!

Alan Rothenberg (past president of the Federation):
Sue is one of those rare individuals who not only volunteers, but executes. If one is working with her on a project, you know it will get done! Having watched her service as chair of the SFJCC when they were making some very important financial decisions, it was fascinating to observe as Sue gathered her facts, assembled her allies, and went about systematically educating the rest of her board, so that they would be comfortable voting on a matter that was on the edge of the comfort zone for many. She has been a great addition to the team at the Jewish Home as well, bringing her land-use skills and her Jewish communal "hat" to solving a puzzle regarding the best outcome for the Home of the future. All in all, Sue is a leader's leader. Making hard decisions, marshaling public opinion, and always working for the community's best interests, rather than her own. And always with a smile.

Toby Rubin (friend):
Sue is a model leader who approaches her volunteer obligations with the same passion and commitment as she displays in her professional life. When she sees work to be done she steps up!

The Federation would like to thank Sue Diamond for her tremendous impact she has had in the Bay Area community. She continues to participate and motivate other to increase their volunteer work and further develop leadership skills.

Please Join Sue at Power of One! Sue will be presented with the Judith Chapman Memorial Women’s Leadership Award at this annual Women’s Philanthropy event on April 24 at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre in San Francisco. Learn more and register for this celebration of Jewish women who inspire us to make a difference in the world.



April 14, 2014