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Meet Susan Bender Phelps

Susan Bender Phelps, Lead Trainer, Coach, and CEO of Odyssey Mentoring & Leadership delivers engaging and inspiring training programs and workshops.  She speaks for both corporate and college audiences.

Susan demonstrates the principles of mentorship and leadership that improve communication and change workplace culture so that organizations are more productive and staff willingly uses every opportunity to grow, develop, and cause breakthroughs.

As a consultant, she helps her clients strengthen existing mentorship and leadership programs or build new ones that are strong from the start.

As an Exoteric Living coach, Susan works with entrepreneurs, executives, speakers, and presenters to support and empower them to reach their goals while living a life they love! A nationally known speaker, Susan inspires and engages her audiences, clearly embodying the ideal that ordinary people can be extraordinary.

Susan got her start in mentoring and leadership training when she co-founded a mentoring program for at-risk middle school students in the early 1990s. This work is her passion. Every day, it gives her the opportunity to pay forward the gift that had once been given to her. As Executive Director of the New Mexico Youth at Risk Foundation, Susan worked with a mentor to help her grow her organization, hone her leadership skills and master non-profit fundraising and grant writing. To this day, she takes advantage of opportunities to be a mentor and to have a mentor.

Susan brings her first-hand knowledge and experience of the power of effective mentoring to her work as a trainer, speaker, and coach. She has learned that just because a person is really good at what they do, has years of experience and the best of intentions, most do not come naturally to the mentoring skills they need. Those skills can be easily learned and mastered. Mentoring benefits both mentees and their mentors. Mentees learn faster than experience alone can teach them. Mentors earn more and rise faster than their colleagues who don’t. Even more important their passion for their own work gets re-ignited. At the end of the day… everyone wins.

Susan speaks nationally on mentorship, leadership, and communication. She is the author of Aspire Higher, a collection of true success stories of career and business mentoring. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a master’s in Management & Organizational Leadership.

Susan has 30+ years of experience working with leaders at all levels of organizations in many industries, including federal, state and local government, colleges, universities, for-profit and not-for-profit. Industries include healthcare, parks and recreation, advertising, accounting, scientists, physicists, architects, consulting engineers, construction, unions, and clergy.

She is a certified SCUBA diver and loves to travel the world. She lives in the Portland, OR metro area.

Odyssey Mentoring clients include:

  • McDonald Jacobs Accounting & Consulting
  • Capital Equipment Leasing
  • Portland Community College
  • Portland General Electric
  • Lions Clubs
  • Maine Association of Healthcare Administrators
  • Chemeketa Community College
  • Lawrence Livermore Laboratory
  • Global Partners for Youth
  • Oregon Association of School Financial Aid Administrators
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • Sistah Sistah Youth Mentoring Program
  • Women at Intel – Rio Rancho
  • Unlocking Futures Youth Mentoring Programs

Read Client Testimonials

People First

Susan commits a quarter of her time to volunteer service.  She has served on a number of boards and committees and contributed significantly to the following organizations:

  • Impact NW
  • Toastmasters District 7 Speakers Bureau
  • Unlocking Futures Youth Mentoring Programs
  • Warner Pacific College Transfer Student Mentoring Program
  • Washington County Kids Fund Initiative