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Book Talk with Sally Susman

May 27, 4:30 pm6:30 pm.
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Sally Susman, Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Pfizer, debuts her first book, Breaking Through: Communicating to Open Minds, Move Hearts and Change the World. Moderated by Margaret Hoover, host of Firing Line on PBS, the two powerhouses will discuss the book and its themes on leadership, empathy, humor, and candor. Susman currently serves on The Church’s board, and her experience and expertise in leadership are vital to our organization; we are honored to celebrate this launch with her.

Breaking Through delves into the story of how global biopharmaceutical giant Pfizer managed the massive communication challenges that came with the Covid-19 Pandemic and the race to produce an effective vaccine. With the fear of the unknown and growing political tensions working against them, the book sheds light on the task of winning people’s hearts and minds. Published by Harvard Business Review Press, Breaking Through highlights Susman’s principles that enabled her to ‘break through,’ connect, and help move people forward, not only at Pfizer but over a stellar career. To be effective, leaders need to muster the courage for candor and connection; they must both disarm with humility and delight with humor.

In such turbulent times, communication can no longer be considered a soft skill; the ability to lead and drive the public conversation is a rock-hard competency. Susman’s stories will draw you in with their warmth, humor, and humanity and will enlighten and motivate you with their insight and passion. Breaking Through is essential reading for any leader as they face the daunting challenge of communicating in our noisy and often chaotic world. As a gay, married woman, Susman discusses forthrightly the challenges and opportunities of embracing who you are, both at home and in the workplace.

Following the conversation, join us for a reception in The Church’s ground floor and garden, hosted by Julie Lichtstein, Patty McCormick and Lisa Sherman. Signed copies of Breaking Through, will be available for purchase, with books provided by Canio’s Books.


48 Madison St
Sag Harbor, NY 11963 United States