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IT firm names first female partner

January 24, 2014
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Tech firm adds first female partner
Susan Cotts

An IT consultant is pioneering new territory at her 23-year-old firm.

Susan Cotts, a client account manager at the technology consulting firm C/D/H in Grand Rapids, was recently named the first female partner at the firm. 

Her leadership responsibilities will expand, but she will continue serving her key clients.

Cotts works in an industry where women hold 11 percent of executive technical roles at privately held companies, according to Dow Jones VentureSource, and four tech companies on Fortune’s 2012 top 100 list had female CEOs.

“Sue’s new ownership role is noteworthy in the male-dominated technology consulting world, but it is her accomplishments and essential contributions to the firm’s growth and management that we recognize,” said C/D/H Partner Paul Hillman. “Sue has shown true commitment to the firm’s core values, and the firm will benefit from her influence in financial and strategic direction as part of the leadership team.”

Background

It’s a major step in a 17-year career of firsts that Cotts has had at C/D/H.

When she started at the firm in 1996, she was the first consultant there to possess a Microsoft Certification. For a number of years, she also was the only female consultant at C/D/H.

Cotts credits her success to the firm’s support, saying the core values demonstrated at C/D/H are more than just words.

“The partners demonstrated the firm’s character in a real way, with a genuine commitment to each individual,” Cotts said. “This created the opportunity for me to build my career, while caring for my family.”

Cotts is a certified project management professional and earned her B.S. in computer science from Western Michigan University.

She is working on a M.B.A. at WMU’s Haworth College of Business.

She also is a member of the Western Michigan Project Management Institute and is an auxiliary board member for Leighton Township Fire and Rescue.

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