Susan Rosen Warner, 77, of Northeast Philadelphia, a nationally known human resources consultant and an educator in the field, died Saturday, Feb. 3, from metastatic lung cancer at Holy Redeemer Hospital in Meadowbrook.
Mrs. Warner was the founder and CEO of Human Resource Trouble Shooters, a home-based consulting business she ran with her husband, Larry, from the early 1990s until 2017 when she retired for health reasons.
"In the beginning, she had four to five people working for her, and for a handful of years she had a secretary, but in recent years it was just the two of them," said her daughter Dana Steiner.
Mrs. Warner gave advice on labor relations, executive coaching, performance management, affirmative action, and compensation issues to clients ranging from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to the Supreme Court of North Dakota, and from Jack & Jill Ice Cream to GMAC Commercial Mortgage.
Recognized as an expert in human resources, Mrs. Warner spoke frequently on the radio and was quoted in newspaper stories. She gave presentations as far away as China, Turkey, and Bermuda.
Equipped with a 1980 bachelor's degree in business administration from Marywood College in Scranton and a 1985 degree from Temple University's Beasley School of Law, she was well-prepared to function in a business involving the law.
She began her career in the late 1980s in the legal world as a law clerk in the Philadelphia offices of what is now Dechert LLP, and as an associate lawyer in the New York firm of Myerson & Kuhn. But she was drawn to the field of human resources and took a series of jobs to hone her skills.
Before setting out to form her own company in 1993, she was vice president of human resources at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne and served in a similar role with the United Way of Greater Philadelphia. From the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, she was manager of employment, equal opportunity, and affirmative action at Hahnemann University Hospital and Medical School.
She formed her own business because she enjoyed having the freedom to develop seminars and take them on the road. "As a vice president of a firm, she didn't have a lot of time to do other things and couldn't fit it in," Larry Warner said.
"She was getting requests from people to speak on topics that she loved and she really wanted to do them," Steiner added.
While running the firm, Mrs. Warner taught courses on human-resource management at Villanova University and the certification-preparation course for members of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).
She also taught a course on compensation at St. Joseph's University and one on strategic human resources at Penn State-Ambler.
"I don't know how she did all that," Steiner said.
In 1998, Mrs. Warner received the society's award for professional excellence, the highest national honor given at the time by the organization. Later, she was given SHRM's national capitol award for heading up the society's legislative affairs activities for a decade ending in 2006.
She founded the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of SHRM in 1993 and served as its president.
Robert Stokes, director of continuing education at Villanova University, said he was "fortunate to have Susan teach multiple classes in human resources."
"She provided subject matter expertise to the SHRM HR body of knowledge many times," he said. "She mentored many students and new HR professionals. She loved teaching, and her students learned from one of the best. I will miss her greatly."
Though she started to slow down in 2010, her engagement with colleagues and students never really stopped, her daughter said.
In retirement, Mrs. Warner enjoyed participating in the activities of her two granddaughters. "She loved being a grandmom," Steiner said.
She loved small dogs and was comforted throughout her illness by the presence of her Maltese, Trixie.
Besides her husband, daughter, and two grandchildren, she is survived by brother Roy Rosen and former husband Tony Leone. Another brother, Dr. Hugh Rosen, died in 2013.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, at Levine and Sons Memorial Chapel, 4737 Street Rd., Trevose, with interment in Shalom Memorial Park, Huntingdon Valley.