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!

3 March 2021 / By SGN

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.


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

2. 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.

3. 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)

4. 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).

Remember, there is no such thing as achieving a perfect work-life balance, but the bottom line is to always be kind to yourself.


5. How do you stay connected to family & friends in 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!

Connect with Susan here, and follow The Koa Club’s happenings on social media: Website, Facebook, and Instagram


WIN A FREE 1-YEAR “BEYOND AWESOME” MEMBERSHIP TO THE KOA CLUB! (WORTH US$250)

In celebration of Women’s History Month, share this article on social media with your perspective using the hashtags, #thekoaclub and #SingaporeGlobalNetwork before 31 March 2021, and you will be entered into a random drawing for 1 year of free “Beyond Awesome” membership to The Koa Club (worth US$250). 5 winners will be selected and notified by 15 April 2021.

The 5 winners will also be given a 50% off discount code (savings = US$250) to join an 8-month leadership development program designed for women – the Club’s 2021 PowWFollowMyLead™ Program.

Whether it’s your own story and reflection or a tribute to an amazing woman who has made an impact in your life, we’d love to hear from you.

Terms & Conditions
Winners must be a registered Singapore Global Network member.
– Social media include LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Posts must include the article link and the hashtags stated.
– Membership to The Koa Club and the PowWFollowMyLead™ Program are for women and those who identify as women. Program details are at the discretion of The Koa Club, and SGN is not responsible for any changes.


Don’t stop here, check out these other great reads…

A founder at 19, he is breaking barriers to opportunity and inclusion for migrant workers
Like most people, Sazzad Hossain initially thought giving back to society was …
This UAE expat is a mentor to migrants and sustainability startups in Singapore
Named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 and shortlisted for the 2021 …
5Qs with Jamie Lim, Arborist, Central Park Conservancy
Our 5Qs series is a chance for you to get to know …
How Open Source Can Solve Some of the World’s Biggest Problems Faster Than Ever
What is Open Source? How did it help countries navigate the pandemic …
Home is Where the Heart is
From India to Singapore, Vandana fondly traces her journey of the last …
This creative power couple says openness to other cultures and languages is key to thriving in the world
Following the birth of their daughter, Colin Goh and Woo Yen Yen …
Gifts for every type of friend in your life
Tis the season for SGNjoyment!
Why this Grab product leader returned to Singapore after 20 years in the States
A veteran of the tech world, Jesse Lim has worked for Microsoft …
Acquire customers for your tech product through inclusive design
Have you wondered why some tech products are able to acquire customers …
Third time’s the charm: Reflections by igloocompany’s Anthony Chow on his startup journey from Singapore to the U.S.
Most entrepreneurs agree that the best part about starting their own business …
The man behind the woman – Meet the Israeli co-founder and co-designer of Singapore fashion brand GINLEE Studio
In more ways than one, Tamir Niv is a life partner to …
5Qs with Cheryl K, Singer-Songwriter and Actress
If you watched “Crazy Rich Asians”, you would have heard Singaporean Cheryl …