Susan Hogg '80
Susan Quinn Hogg ’80 entered college knowing she wanted to major in
political science. “My intention was to follow in the footsteps of my father,
who was an attorney and member of the state legislature,” she says.
After she set foot on campus—“I immediately fell in love with
R-MC, and with the charming town of Ashland,” she recalls—she soon discovered a
deep appreciation for classical studies as well. “The great professors in that department
kept me coming back for more, so I added a concentration in that area,” explains
the Hampton, Virginia native.
Hogg’s memories of campus life include football games, “particularly our rivalry
with Hampden-Sydney,” she says, and the close friendships she made. “I still enjoy
getting together with my former roommate, Mary Lynn Reed ’80. We are great friends.
She was maid of honor at my wedding…and she attended my daughter’s wedding!”
The late Earl Koontz and the late Bruce Unger, both political science instructors,
were two of Hogg’s favorite professors. “They were very nurturing of my interest
in pursuing a career in law,” she says. “They were instrumental in helping me to
learn to think critically, which has proven to be an important skill as a business
owner. They knew my dad was an attorney, and, while I ended up not going down that
path, I always knew they were my allies.”
Hogg was an intern first at a law firm and then in a hospital while a student at
R-MC, experiences that changed the course of her career path. “I interned in the
public relations department of a hospital and was absolutely enthralled,” she says.
“I began to question if law was what I really wanted to do. To this day, I think
internships are incredibly valuable. I
really believe in giving young people opportunities for hands-on experience.”
Hogg entered the world of bank marketing with Central Fidelity Bank (now Wells Fargo)
after graduating from R-MC, and five years later she started her own firm, Creative
Associates, which provided marketing and communications consulting to local firms.
In 1999, she merged her company with Mark Smith & Associates to form circle
S studio, a strategic branding and design firm.
“We have grown to a nationally‐recognized agency that specializes in developing
brands for growth‐oriented middle market firms, as well as banks and financial services
organizations,” explains Hogg, the president and managing partner of the company.
She is also the creator of a new product for the wedding industry, the Happily Ever
AfterWords Anniversary Box, which was launched earlier in 2010.
“Each keepsake box contains cards and envelopes labeled with the anniversary years
one through fifty,” explains Hogg, who was inspired by a similar gift box given
to her at her wedding more than 30 years ago. “The Anniversary Box is a way of preserving
messages, written by friends and family, to be kept in the box and read by a couple
on each anniversary,” she says.
Hogg is also an active member of the Virginia Council of CEOs, a roundtable-based
organization that emphasizes learning through shared experiences and best practices,
and she has continued her education by taking courses at University of Richmond’s
Robins School of Business.
Hogg stays connected to R-MC in several ways. “I am involved with the Ladies Network,
which includes a group of local alumnae,” she says. “We get together for dinner
several times a year and enjoy robust conversations and idea exchanges. I have also
enjoyed attending homecoming events and reunion weekends throughout the years, and
I serve on the reunion committee as well.”
When asked what advice she would give incoming R-MC freshman, this savvy entrepreneur
doesn’t hesitate. “I would encourage them to pursue their dreams, enjoy every aspect
of the college experience and remain open to new possibilities,” she says.