Top Women in Comms Hall of Famer Susan Donlan on resilience, mentorship and the future

“Use your voice,” advises KeyCorp CCO Susan Donlan in this video conversation with Ragan.

Each year as part of our Top Women in Communications Awards, Ragan names three women who have gone above and beyond in their work and made a lasting impact on communications at large throughout their careers.

Among the inductees into our class of 2024 was Susan Donlan, Chief Communications Officer at KeyCorp, the parent company of KeyBank. Donlan began her career in government before transitioning to corporate communications at T.D. Bank, where she rose to vice president over 10 years.

At KeyBank, she has navigated major crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic and challenges across the banking industry, guiding the organization and safeguarding its stability through steady leadership and a continuous commitment to learning. In addition to her role, she participates in KeyBank’s mentor program and serves the Cleveland community as a board member for its natural history museum and her county’s public library foundation.

In this discussion with Ragan’s editorial director and editor-in-chief Justin Joffe, she discusses what it’s been like forging a path ahead in the banking industry, the people who uplifted her throughout her career, underrated skills for communicators and what’s on the road ahead for communications leaders.

“Resilience and flexibility really come to the top of the list for me,” she said.

Learn more from Susan in the video below.

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