Spotlight COlorado  

Have You Met?

If there is anyone who embodies the words upbeat, positive and fun , it’s Susan Stiff, area director of public relations for Starwood Hotels and Resorts In Colorado.

This PR maven handles several high-end hotels including the Westin Tabor Center, Westin Westminster, Sheraton Denver Tech Center, Four Points DU, Four Points Cherry Creek, Sheraton Steamboat and three Starwood properties in Kansas City.

In addition to her hectic work schedule, Susan volunteers for a number of organizations and was thrilled this year to be accepted into the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Susan grew up the eldest of three sisters in Kansas and Indiana and had no plans of going into PR. “After college, I was planning on going into retail to become a buyer for Marshall Fields,” she says, “But I ended up in PR and I think I’ve succeeded because I have a lot of common sense and a good attitude. The hotel world changes so quickly, and I thrive in this environment because I actually enjoy flying by the seat of my pants. “

Her straight-shooter style and optimistic, on-the-go attitude has kept her among the top five media generators every year for several years at Starwood. This accolade is one of many she has received since starting there 11 years ago.

Susan has been married to her Omar Shariff look-alike husband, John, for 23 years, and hopes someday to work for an arts-related non-profit.

Favorite Clothing Stores: Stienmart, Ross and TJ MAX

What gives a woman/man style: People who accentuate the positives and minimize the negatives.

Favorite Restaurant: I have so many great memories from The Penrose Room at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.

Which social event is your favorite? Saturday Night Alive for the DCPA, the Yellow Rose Ball for the Central City Opera and the American Ireland Fund Annual Dinner.

What are your volunteer activities? Member of Central City Opera Guild (we house Central City Opera apprentices twice a year), Guild for the DCPA, a sustainer in the Junior League, member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Downtown Denver Partnership welcoming committee, and the Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau Marketing Committee.

Who is the most interesting celebrity you ever met? Willard Scott. I went with a photographer to get his photo when I was working at the Broadmoor, and the first thing he did was take the camera off the photographer's neck and say, "Anyone know how to use this thing? I always get my picture with the photographer first." He was genuinely nice and made the photographer who is normally invisible feel great.

Who is your hero? My mother, because she was the kindest and most non-judgmental person.

If your life were a movie, who would play your part? People used to tell me I looked just like Suzanne Pleshette.

Saturdays are likely to find you: Wallpapering a bathroom, helping my husband garden, or doing a home project.

Do you have any Pets? A 4½-year-old Shiatsu who weighs 23 pounds, but he's not fat, he's just big!

What one word describes you best? Optimistic

What word would you like others to use to describe you? Smart

What was your first job? Working in a clothing store, Hudson's in the Village, in Gary, Indiana, and babysitting.

If there were one thing you would change about yourself, what would it be? Stop trying too hard to please people.

What is your greatest indulgence? Shopping

What's the best gift you've ever received? A shiatsu named Spike on my 33rd birthday.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? My husband

Which talent would you most like to have? To be an opera singer

What is your current state of mind? Very optimistic

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Recently, becoming a member of the daughters of the American Revolution.

What is your most treasured possession? My dog

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Beauty

What is your favorite journey? Walking every day no matter where I am; it gives me a sense of where I am, and you learn a lot about a place when you walk around the block.

What is the quality you most like in a person? I love people who are funny and smart and quick.

Do you have any your favorite writers? Favorite books? I go through phases where I'll read a lot from one author. I've had Larry McMurtry's, Joyce Carroll Oats, Dominick Dunne, Isabel Allende, Anne Rice and J. K. Rowling phases, but the book that affected me the most was "Gone With The Wind." I read it when I was 15 and remember crying all the way through the last page because I was so sad it was over.

What is the best advice you have ever received? When I first started working out of college, someone said, "Whatever you do today it pays off in 6 months - if you screw around today you'll feel it in 6 months, and if you don't want to be where you are in 6 months, do something about it today." And it's true, I have found.