5Qs with Susan Seah, Founder of The Koa Club

Our 5Qs series is a chance for you to get to know more about folks in the Singapore Global Network community, where we pose 5 questions to exciting individuals to find out more about what they do!

By SGN | 17 Oct 2022

Featured by Seattle Business Magazine as a “Daring Woman”, Susan Seah believes that no woman should be held back from accomplishing anything they desire. Founding The Koa Club in 2019, a social and leadership club for women, the U.S.-based Singaporean legal counsel is passionate about promoting female leadership and lifelong learning.


Your mantra is living life boldly. What are some of the boldest things that you have done in your life?

That’s a hard question. Being bold can come in so many forms. I felt I was bold when I completed an Ironman triathlon race, even though I was insanely terrified of swimming in deep water. I was bold when I stepped on a stage with the tiniest bikini, competing in a body-building contest against other women half my age. I was bold when I completed one marathon each month in 2016 to test my mental power through physical discomfort. I definitely feel the satisfying sense of boldness whenever I can tackle and crush challenges that seem impossible to overcome at the outset.

Sadly, I am more terrified of bugs than I am of swimming in deep water. So, I was extremely bold this morning because I did not run away in terror when an ugly looking stinkbug landed on my desk!

Susan’s medals from 2016 when she did a marathon each month, plus a bonus medal for completing a series!
Susan and her husband, Morgan, backpacking in the beautiful Enchantments in Washington State (summer 2020).

What motivated you to set up The Koa Club?

The Koa Club’s idea arose on one snowy winter day when I wondered how I could learn to put snow-chains on my car tires. There are a myriad of skills that I wish to learn with other like-minded women in a fun, safe, and non-judgmental environment. I have always believed that no woman should be held back from accomplishing anything they desire.

On that basis, I started The Koa Club in late 2019, enabling women to boldly pursue and gain a limitless supply of knowledge and skills. The word “Koa” means fearless. The Koa Club is also about having a community of women from around the world. In this community, women are encouraged to learn from each other and inspire one another to be their best selves.

The Koa Club hosting events for women, where leadership and self-improvement were discussed.

Can you please share upcoming highlights for The Koa Club?

We have several exciting things happening. We will launch our Club’s TV channel on YouTube soon.  Our TV programs will focus on providing strategies for women to tackle common issues in their lives, such as overcoming self-doubt, breaking unproductive habits, and practicing self-love.

We are also proud of our women-only private social media network, which is a safe space to connect and become friends, allies, mentors, sponsors, and champions for one another. This is in addition to the regular club curating workshops and events under various “Series” topics.

We even launched a world travel talk series this year, giving our members unique insights into popular destinations by locals. Guess what, we started the series about Singapore!

From one of The Koa Club TV channel shoots – Susan with her co-host, Micha Goebig (standing)

Can you share tips to achieve balance between one’s professional and personal life?

Due to the pandemic, people got stuck at home, so there is no clear boundary between our work and personal lives.  It is essential to create some semblance of work-life balance to avoid burnout. To stay sane, I will schedule a bit of time each day to do something that would be enjoyable, such as working out, playing a game, reading a book, playing with my dog, or just journaling my thoughts. The key thing is to find your unique way of unplugging for a little while to let you recharge before jumping back to work or other duties.

Other tips that might be helpful:

  • Prioritize your tasks and be realistic about what you can tackle in a day
  • Stick to your set “work hours” – routine is important
  • Practice good sleep hygiene
  • Seek help from others, such as having your family share in chores and colleagues help on a project

Susan having a social hour at her Seattle home with good friends: Queenie Chong & Angeline Loong (1st & 2nd from left) who both grew up in Singapore but live in the U.S. now, and Mandy Freeman (right).

How do you stay connected to Singapore?

My parents still live in Singapore, so I usually visit them over the Lunar New Year. Due to the pandemic, I couldn’t visit them this year, so the family adopted regular Zoom gatherings. We celebrated my dad’s birthday last year over Zoom, where my siblings and I called in from different parts of the world. During the pandemic, I have also discovered that I could order things from Amazon Singapore to surprise my family and friends!

(left) Susan and her mother Lily in Singapore 2018; (right) Susan and her family celebrating her dad’s 85th birthday over Zoom in 2020.
Last year, my 85-year-old mom made a delicious Italian meal with the pasta sauce and spaghetti noodles I ordered and delivered from Amazon. This year, I’ll see if I can get my mom’s take on the challenge of baking a pizza with the pizza stone I’m sending her!

About Susan

Susan has broad experience as Head of Legal and General Counsel for Technology Companies (Private and Publicly Traded); and is passionate about Empowerment of Women. Follow The Koa Club’s happenings on social media: Website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Connect with her here.

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