The Triad Business Journal recently celebrated local up-and-coming leaders between ages 21 and 40 who are positive influencers in their workplaces and communities. Among those honored are UNCG Bryan School alumni Susanne Hall (MBA ’17) and Ashlee Wagner (BA ’11).
Suzanne Hall represents the fourth generation of leadership in her Greensboro-based family-owned capital machinery manufacturing company, Wysong, where she has served as the Executive Vice President for three years. She is working to make the durable equipment that lasts for decades more relevant in the market, to preserve the strong history of the company, and to guide its evolution. She recently received her MBA from the Bryan School’s evening program.
“I have had the incredible and unique opportunity to learn all the ins and outs of a company and love how that has made me into a person I never dreamed I would become,” she said. She returned Wysong in 2014 after a career in marketing at Carolina Ballet in Raleigh, when her father announced his retirement. She realized then that she needed to earn an MBA so she would have the problem solving skills and tools she needed to ensure continued success for the business.
In addition to running this business with her cousin, Hall serves on the Board of the Greensboro History Museum. “I love that this Museum is free to the public and can share the history of our great city. I believe we must know and learn from our history to successfully move forward.” She also works with the Junior League of Greensboro on numerous positive causes in the community.
She said she has never passed up an opportunity to learn – whether it’s something that’s not in a job description, going back to school, talking to a new person, or taking a job that pays less but provides more opportunities. She advises everyone who is fortunate to be able to give back in time, money, whatever one can; “Be aware of the opportunities you have and make sure you use them to lift others up – and not just keep them for yourself.”
Ashlee Wagner is Senior Associate Practice Leader for Greensboro-based Charles Aris, Inc., a premier executive recruiting firm. She was identified as a rising star early on at the company even though she had no professional recruiting experience. In her three years at the company she finds herself on the fast career track, and the momentum is growing. She started as an associate recruiter and today is being mentored by Senior Practice Leader Jill Jitima as well as company CEO, Chad Oakley, as she leads the firm’s business development efforts in the financial services space.
Bringing to the company her ability to manage minute details while driving big projects, which she honed as a multiple lines sales representative in her three years at State Farm Insurance prior to joining Charles Aris, Inc., Ashlee shines in her ability to put deals together for organizations seeking the planet’s top talent.
Ashlee’s professional life seems to generate even more energy for her other passions, which includes St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, an organization she’s supported since high school and college. She and her husband ran their first half marathon through the St. Jude campus in December 2014. She is also heavily involved in the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Greensboro Beautiful, and through Charles Aris, the local chapter of Junior Achievement.
In her spare time, she and her husband love traveling. “Travel gives me the opportunity to learn so much about myself, to have unique experiences, and to understand others in a powerful way.”