PhillyHappening brings you Happening Women of Philadelphia, a feature that celebrates March as Women’s History Month and the women who contribute to our communities through their business, creativity, family or simply inspire others.
You may have had the pleasure of catching “Happening Woman”, Susan Rocco’s radio series “Women to Watch” which airs Saturdays at 3:00 pm on WFYL 1180 AM, and if you’ve never had the opportunity to tune in, we highly recommend you do. Susan is a lifelong Philadelphia resident who is making it happen in the world of radio. She is inspiring women along the way with her take-chances attitude that proves that if you just believe in yourself and have the courage to take that first step, big things can happen to you too.
Susan was always intrigued by people’s stories and is genuinely interested in who they are. That made her the perfect candidate to host a radio show about women that’s not only a show that talks about women and their success, but rather a show that talks to women. It’s an intimate conversation about who they are, what they do, and what drives them. She discusses their successes, failures, dreams and what motivates women from a variety of professions; all in an effort to inspire other women who are listening, to pursue their own dreams.
We recently had an opportunity to turn the tables on Susan and ask her a few questions about herself and her success with “Women to Watch“.
PH: Can you tell us a little about the day you walked into WFYL and pitched your idea for “Women to Watch”?
SUSAN: Let me start by saying that I have always been a fan and listener of talk radio. As much as I love music, I found myself tuning in to talk radio because I just love conversation! Over the years, I grew tired of the political talk, and wished there was something targeted more to women like me. After I appeared on Kim Douglas’s program to talk about a clothing line I was selling, I realized how much I enjoyed the experience! I went home that day and immediately thought, how can I do that? So in a thank you note to Kim, I jokingly said, “if you ever need someone to fill in for you, give me a call.” She immediately responded and said why don’t you pitch an idea to our GM. Walking in there that day, I was nervous and skeptical, but really felt in my heart that I had a novel idea for radio. To me, there is nothing more interesting than people’s personal stories. I love that! My passion in life truly is meeting people, and hearing about their background, and I believe story telling is our greatest teacher. I also felt that others would enjoy hearing the personal stories of accomplished women and not simply the facts of what they do.
PH: You do such a wonderful job making your interviews more like conversations, where guests can share their stories in such a way that inspires other women. Would you say you were born a “listener” and people have always been comfortable opening up to you?
SUSAN: Yes, I have always been a good listener. I simply am genuinely interested in people, and hearing their story. My husband will say he can’t believe what people tell me, and I would imagine it’s because they feel comfortable, and they do not feel judged. What I do know is that I think one of my main interests in meeting new people came from an innate sense of wanting to learn, in order to better myself. That is what much of “Women to Watch” is all about…helping to strengthen the self esteem of young girls as well as accomplished women.
PH: Any tips for being a good listener?
SUSAN: Yes, focus solely on the person in front of you, as opposed to thinking about yourself and what your next response is going to be!
PH: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
SUSAN: While I thoroughly enjoy all the hours I spend researching women, the most rewarding is the new connection I make each week with a new woman, and what I learn from her. My best friend Margaret (who knows me better than anyone) will say I’m like a four year old when it comes to meeting people. I always want to know why, when, where, how? So now for a living I get to ask those questions and share their stories with others It’s a dream come true!
PH: Any words of wisdom to women who are trying to “make it happen” in their chosen field?
SUSAN: This is often said, but it truly is the crux of everything. Try to be your absolute authentic self. Every human is an original, and therefore has something different to offer, so if you go out into the world, being that original self, people will respond positively, and you will not only find success, but joy as well!
PH: Last but not least, can you share a piece of your personal history here in Philadelphia?
SUSAN: My Grandfather built “The Philadelphian” across from the Art Museum, and my Dad who grew up in the house my Grandfather built, lived next door to “Grace Kelly” and her family on Netherfield Road in East Falls! Interestingly enough, my brother, a Partner with Cozen O’Connor, now lives in that same house on Netherfield Road. The “F” is still on the Chimney for Foley.
PH: Great Advice Susan! Thank you again for sharing your story and inspiring women all over the greater Philadelphia region.
Do you know a HAPPENING WOMAN? Are YOU a HAPPENING WOMAN? March is Women’s History Month and Philly Happening will be celebrating all month long sharing the profiles of talented and successful women of our community. Click here to contact us if you are or know a Happening Person!
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