Susan Villalas
VP & Managing Director

Contact Susan

[email protected]

Susan has over 20 years of Talent Strategy consulting experience serving as a trusted advisor to global HR Executives across several verticals. She has also held in-house HR leadership positions from Talent Management to Staffing at hi-tech and financial services firms, and can appreciate firsthand the challenges facing today’s HR function. She stays curious about leading talent trends from attracting and developing the best talent, to building and sustaining the right total rewards package, employee experience, and culture to stay competitive as a leading employer. She seeks to understand clients’ unique issues and partners to bring a solution that makes sense for them.

Susan is a lifelong learner herself who enjoys being outdoors, and traveling to new places with her family. In her spare time, she’s re-learning golf, picked up paddle-boarding, and experimenting with more Korean food recipes. She is based in the DC Metro area, and although it is considered a transient area, she considers herself a ‘local gal’ having grown up on both the MD and VA sides.

Advice I Wish I’d Received Earlier in My Career

Seek out a trusted professional mentor outside of your function early on. The sooner you have a lifeline to a different vantage point within the company, the sooner you’re able to start thinking more broadly about the business and appreciating where you fit into the ecosystem to contribute. And we all know there are good and bad days at work. A mentor is a great resource to help you think through a productive way to handle the bad days especially and help gain perspective around what requires self-reflection versus advocacy.

My Dream Job If I Weren’t at Ceres Talent

Professional Getaway Planner! Not all the travel agent admin stuff, but rather thinking through the right kind of vacation for a family/couple, researching places to see, things to do, what to eat, what to pack, lodging options (Airbnb and VRBO are my Netflix!), ALL of it –except maybe mode of travel. That part drives me crazy!

My Very First Job

My first job was a glass cleaner at my parents’ small jewelry store. As I got older of course tasks went from showcase cleaning to merchandise display set up, to eventually selling to customers. I still have such a deep appreciation for any mom-n-pop merchant trying to hustle to make ends meet, as I grew up watching my parents work so hard for me and my sister to have the opportunities we’ve had. I learned the discipline it takes to keep a store running day to day, from non-stop fingerprint wiping, to listening to what people really want and need before trying to sell them something.

Marketing Brain Food

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