C. Suzanne Bates
Suzanne received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Stephens College and is a recipient of its Excellence in Art Award. She completed extended studies in Europe and a graduate-level certificate program at Harvard University’s, Graduate School of Design. Suzanne is listed in Who’s Who of Interior Design, and was the first nationally certified interior designer in Minnesota. She also briefly attended her family-owned business school because her father told her that if she could type she would never starve. Her highest marks were in penmanship.
Suzanne has been a vital force in the Minneapolis design community for over three decades. After ten years of senior positions with prestigious firms in both St. Louis and Minneapolis, she founded the award-winning Design Syndicate, Inc. (DSI), a firm that received a national reputation for innovative, functional and cost-effective work. DSI not only boasts an extensive list of internationally renoun clientele including Yoplait, ConAgra, John Deere, Mayo Clinic. 3M and the singer formerly known as Prince, but has also been published in every major design magazine in America.
Suzanne also served as design editor for Twin Cities Magazine, was a contributor to Corporate Report Magazine and chaired the National Speakers Bureau for the International Interior Design Association. She spoke extensively about interior design and also developed and presented a weekly segment for the television magazine show Corporate Video—a program about business for the local NBC affiliate. Her final design related position was regional marketing director for HOK Architects, the world’s largest architectural firm. Suzanne co-founded Aging But DANGEROUS in 2008 and since then has been devoted to building the company profiled on this website. Suzanne’s 2015 launch of her first book, DON’T PEE ON MY SOFA & OTHER THINGS TO LAUGH ABOUT, achieved Amazon’s Top Ten status, in its category, in the first week of publication.
Suzanne’s spiritually driven personal life consists of balancing four adult children (one is a cancer survivor), six grandsons, and a variety of exercise regimens while intensely pursuing her own personal growth. In 2001, she and her former spouse co-chaired World Presidents Organization (WPO) Education Committee for the Twin Cities chapter, winning a First Place Award for “Best Program of the Year” (internationally). Her passions include contemporary art, boating, philanthropy and Team Ghana (an organization she co-founded in the late ‘90s to empower the women and children of rural Ghana). Suzanne is an also accomplished equestrian with multiple National Championships to her credit.
A glimpse inside her psyche would reveal an intensely energetic and spontaneous woman with a thirst for knowledge that is partially driven by her lifelong struggle with A.D.H.D. and minor learning disabilities. Her commitment to empowering women was instilled in her by her mother and grandmother who were clearly capable of being so much more than society encouraged them to be. Her humor and appreciation of the smallest details remain her fuel for life.