For someone who claims she got a “late start in life,” this accomplished woman has made up her fair share of ground. Though her budding career was put on hold to raise a family, Susan Junker reengaged the workplace in a way that is making a real difference.
As a dedicated wife, mother and humble community servant, Junker has always focused on service to others.
“The point of serving is to give of yourself, whether it’s your time, your resources, or your heart, for the benefit of others,” Junker said.
Undoubtedly, she learned this altruistic principle from her parents, her large extended family and the middle-class upbringing in which she and her four siblings were raised. “I was the middle child or peacemaker and always worried about keeping everyone safe and happy,” she said.
After attending Oregon State University, she moved to Arizona in 1988; she and her husband John married later that year. They eventually settled in Arcadia in 1991, where they raised their children, daughter Lucy and son Michael. She regards her family as “the greatest gift of all.”
Before starting a family, Junker worked in administrative and management roles in the commercial real estate, auto racing and performing arts industries. These days, she works at St. Vincent de Paul, serving the past nine years as a senior development officer and executive assistant to CEO Steve Zabilski.
“Susan is respected by everyone who works here, and her contributions are extremely significant,” Zabilski said. “I am most grateful for her.”
Junker says it is she who is fortunate to be involved with SVdP and calls it “a place of second chances, grace and healing.”
“The people who work and volunteer at SVdP are the humblest, most generous and loving individuals I have ever met. They help people in ways that are hard to describe,” she said.
Among Junker’s many contributions while at SVdP is co-founding WISH – Women in Service and Hope – a group of dedicated women who serve as ambassadors and advocates for SVdP. These leaders embody hope and helping others with dignity, encouragement and love.
“Many people want to serve others but may not know how,” Junker said. “What you receive from volunteering is far greater than what you give, and the gratitude from our guests at SVdP is profound.”
When Junker isn’t busy caring for others, she enjoys sewing, playing the piano and spending time with family.
“Being from the Northwest, I was used to a lush, green environment, so I’ve always felt right at home in the Arcadia neighborhood. Our family loves the sense of community and how friendly people are,” Junker said. “This is a very generous community with hearts for helping others and bringing them great hope.”
It’s a little wonder she fits right in!