Woman of the Year
The Woman of the Year program at Ursuline Academy began in 1986 as part of the school’s 90th anniversary celebration to recognize and honor outstanding alumnae.
Numerous Ursuline graduates have distinguished themselves in careers as varied as health care, the arts and sciences, education, business, and countless other fields. Just as important to the Ursuline tradition are those alumnae who have lived lives of service to their families, church, and community. All of these achievements are deserving of recognition and are cause for great pride on the part of everyone associated with Ursuline Academy.
Stephanie Sudbrack-Busam '76 is 2015 Woman of the Year
Stephanie Sudbrack-Busam '76
As a member of the Class of 1976, Stephanie experienced Ursuline during a time of change. In 1976, our country was celebrating our bicentennial, Cincinnati celebrated the Big Red Machine’s second consecutive World Series win, and the Ursuline community was coming into its own as we settled into our new home on Pfeiffer Road. The world was changing, and that was visible at Ursuline, just as it was everywhere else.
Stephanie credits her time at Ursuline with teaching her how to be an independent thinker. New ideas, no matter how unusual, were encouraged rather than squashed; they were supported and nurtured. Influenced by the older siblings of a classmate, Stephanie and her friends became founding members of Ursuline’s chapter of the United Farm Workers. In the Ursuline tradition, the idea for the club originated with the students. Sr. Joan Roach served as the moderator, but the club was student-led. This was an opportunity for students to expand their minds and hearts, while advocating for those who were underrepresented and less fortunate. Stephanie credits the lessons she learned as a member of this club as the foundation of everything she’s done.
Stephanie’s career has certainly demonstrated her ability to build both relationships and successful teams. Stephanie began her career by managing several branches of the clothing store, The Limited. After ensuring the success of three different stores, Stephanie entered real estate, a business in which her family had been successful for two generations. Not wanting to rely on her family name, she didn’t initially tell her parents when she joined West Shell Realtors in 1985. She worked for West Shell, which later became Coldwell Banker West Shell, for 22 years, 18 of those years as a branch manager. For the past eight years Stephanie has been a Sales Manager and Vice President of Sibcy Cline Realtors.
Balancing her career and parenthood, Stephanie and her husband John had two daughters, Megan, Ursuline Class of 2005, and Morgan, Ursuline Class of 2008. We are grateful to have been entrusted with their education, and are proud to count them among our alumnae.
Certainly one thing that has been a constant for Stephanie and her family is a drive and passion for giving back to their community, always working to make Cincinnati a better place. Currently Stephanie serves on the board of the Cincinnati Horticultural Society, and was part of the team of community volunteers who brought back the Cincinnati Flower Show last year.
That generosity of spirit has also extended to Stephanie’s alma mater, Ursuline Academy. We’ve been blessed for many years to be able to rely on Stephanie’s counsel as we have grown as a school, and we’ve been able to count on Stephanie for early support of many projects as we work to ensure that we are carrying out St. Angela’s vision, through the mission of Ursuline.
Most recently, Stephanie and a group of her classmates have taken on the challenge of establishing an Ursuline endowed scholarship, celebrating the spirit of the Class of ‘76.
Ursuline Board member, and also a member of the Class of 1976, Sue Mackey, said of Stephanie, “I can remember a teen who leaned into life and enjoyed a good time. She was friendly, good-natured, and approachable…Stephanie’s love of all things Ursuline has continued through the years. She was one of the individuals in the forefront of initiating the idea for a Class of 76 scholarship, and she has demonstrated leadership, creativity, enthusiasm, and commitment to this endeavor.”
When asked about her time, and her daughters’ time at Ursuline, Stephanie said, “There’s something special that goes on here…no matter where you are or what you do, you’ll end up connecting with another Ursuline alum, and between the lessons you learn and the connections you make, it will play a role in your success.”
Two young women who have certainly been successful because of the love and guidance they’ve received from Stephanie and John, are their daughters, Megan and Morgan, who told us “It is easy to see why our mom is being honored as Ursuline’s Woman of the Year, as her dedication to her work and service has led to the betterment of others. Through furthering her career in real estate and contributing back to the community through serving on various boards and participating in many volunteer organizations, she embodies what every Ursuline woman strives to become. She has set an example for us, as her daughters and Ursuline women, and has encouraged us to pursue a similar path. For these reasons, we are constantly inspired by her and are proud to call her our mom and now Ursuline's 2015 Woman of the Year."