“The key to building organizational resilience in the face of today’s constant risks and challenges is not a complex, sophisticated tool. There is no ‘magic bullet’. The key is to assess, improve, and integrate organization structures, processes, and systems while simultaneously building a more unified team with every change undertaken.”

Sandra Suran, CPA, founded The Suran Group in 1990 to help organizations accomplish sustainable changes while building organizational resilience. Projects include organizational assistance with merging operations; assessments and strategies for linking departments and for improved effectiveness; ramping up operations and governance for organizations experiencing rapid growth and major changes; facilitating implementation of program and organizational improvements; strategic and operations planning and implementation; assessment and revision of organization structures for improved effectiveness. That means linking traditional Risk Management specialties including process improvement, risk assessment, financial/information analysis, with other disciplines including planning, marketing, human resources, and systems integration. 

Sandra has experience working with a variety of industries including high-technology, health care, government, construction, education, service-centered organizations, not-for-profit, manufacturing and distribution, and financial institutions.

Prior to founding The Suran Group, Sandra was founder and partner in charge of both the Audit and Consulting departments of one of Portland’s largest accounting and consulting firms, Suran & Company, CPAs, which merged with KPMG Peat Marwick. She subsequently became an Audit and Consulting partner with KPMG, serving on the firm’s national Middle Market steering committee. Her respected understanding of business led the State of Oregon to hire Sandra to develop a strategic plan for small business in Oregon and to lead the development and implementation of small business programs for the State as Oregon’s 1st Small Business Advocate. This included working directly with the Governor and the Economic Development Department, supervising the statewide Small Business Development Center Network, working with funding agencies, establishing a program of 26 state agency Business Assistance Officers to assess needs and develop process improvement programs, and to design and establish a database and service hotline program.

Sandra’s financial expertise was supplemented with service on the Federal Reserve Bank, Portland Branch, service as Vice-Chair of their San Francisco Bank Advisory Council on Small Business and Agriculture, and service on the San Francisco Bank’s Audit Committee. Sandra also served on the Board of the American Institute of CPAs (as Vice Chair-Elect), chaired many technical committees, served on their Audit Committee and on their Foundation Board.

Sandra founded or significantly restructured and chaired numerous local and national professional and civic organizations. This includes Chair of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, reorganizing Chair of Catholic Charities of Oregon, founding Chair of the Professional Services Council of Oregon, founding Chair of the Tualatin Valley Economic Development Corporation (now the Westside Alliance). She is a former trustee of the University of Portland, former Chair of St. Vincent Hospital and Medical Center Advisory Board, and has been the recipient of many awards for excellence and leadership in business.
Education and Certification:
BBA in Accounting, University of Portland
Certified Public Accountant, Oregon

Recent Awards and Activities:
Sandra’s book on effective Change Management was published in 2014: The DNA of the Resilient OrganizationHow One Collective Heartbeat Creates Continuous Competitive Advantage.

Sandra was a Contributing Assistant Professor at Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management. In Fall, 2015 she taught a course partially based on her new book. The course was titled, Enterprise Risk Reduction for Sustainable Growth.

Sandra’s article, “How to Implement Change Effectively” published in 2003 by the national Journal of Corporate Accounting and Finance (John Wiley & Sons) was selected by their Editorial Board as one of their Top Ten Articles of All Time. It is featured in their “Best of JCAF”, May/June 2015 Issue.

In April, 2015 Sandra received a special Award from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, “The Ray Dezember Award for Exemplifying the Meaning of the Fed Family”.


For Sandra’s Management Consultant Resume please click here.

For Sandra’s Forensic Consultant Resume please click here.

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