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Sonya Smith Šustáček

Member at Large

Native Texan Sonya Smith Šustáček is a Senior Scrum Master at Travelers. Prior to going back to the private sector, she was an IT Portfolio Coordinator and Project Manager for Minnesota IT (MNIT) Services Partnering with MnDot. She joined the state prior to taking on the challenge of working in the Office of Information Technology as a project manager/business analyst at the University of Minnesota. Prior to these challenges, she had a 14-year career at Thomson Reuters, first as a software developer and then as a project manager. She chose to leave the corporate sector to find a better work-life balance and to work for organizations whose missions better reflect her values. Sonya’s family moved around quite a bit when she was younger before finally returning to her native Texas in 1972. She moved to Ohio in 1995 to study statistics in grad school and then to Minnesota in 1997 to work for West Publishing (Thomson’s predecessor). She had a choice of places to work and chose Minneapolis as she pictured herself living the life of “Mary Richards” from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

She makes a difference by looking for ways to contribute to causes that help people lift themselves up, feed their spirits, and make ­their communities better. She also is a donor to her alma mater, The University of Texas at Austin, and believes deeply in giving back to her college for the start it gave her and continues to give to others in her home state. Prior to the COMPAS board, Sonya was the President of the Junior League of Saint Paul, the first African American woman to hold the position, spending eight years climbing the ranks throughout the organization, serving on numerous committees. She also loves cooking and throwing dinner parties for friends and family, reading, shopping, sewing, needle arts, and learning French. She and her husband live in Rosemount, and hope (well, she does) to retire to Paris where she can speak French every day.

Senior Scrum Master, Travelers

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COMPAS is an arts education nonprofit that puts creativity in the hands of Minnesotans, regardless of their age, background, or skills. Based in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, COMPAS teaching artists deliver creative experiences and arts programming across Minnesota.

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This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.