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Woman to Watch: Susan Harf

Woman to watch: Susan Harf

Arlene Hisiger Herrochester.com,  November 30, 2013

(Photo: Photo provided by Susan Harf)

Susan Harf knows the importance of being a great communicator. With years of social work experience on her resume, she has learned that whether she is presenting to a group of educators about dealing with difficult students, to couples on how to improve their relationships, or business managers about effective leadership, it all boils down to one concept: communication.

She brings passion for her work as a life coach to her private practice, and draws on a wide range of experience when working with clients. "I absolutely love helping people realize their dreams," Harf said. "… I've had the benefit of working with and talking to so many people from different sectors of the community. I now can pass that experience on to my clients."

Harf spent more than 15 years on local radio and television, sharing her expertise regarding relationships and communication and listening to the stories of others.

From 1993 to 2000, she hosted a weekly live radio talk show on WXXI-AM 1370, called Real Life with Susan Harf. Each week, Harf invited guest experts as well as "real life" people to weigh in on a particular issue. Her goal was to present the topic under discussion to the public through a multiplicity of lenses.

In 2001, Harf was hired by Channel 13 WHAM-TV to appear as part of their live newscast as a life strategist. In that capacity, over the course of eight years, Harf offered viewers professional advice regarding personal relationships and workplace communication. She continues to work with 13WHAM through the "Ask Susan" column on the station's website.

Before committing herself more fully to her private practice, Harf, who holds a masters of social work degree in family therapy from Syracuse University, also spent time working as director of community partnerships at Hillside Work Scholarship Connection. There she created multiple organizational partnerships in the trades, the arts, and government, to further Hillside's goal of increased graduation rates.

For Harf, loving what she does — helping others work toward resolving problems in their lives — has always been very important. "Life is short; you should love what you do," she said. "You must have it (your passion) be your number one priority. You must be willing to give up other things in order to do it."

Her passion for helping others extends to several charitable organizations with which she is involved in Rochester, including Planned Parenthood, Jewish Federation.