Environmental Steward: Edith Suttles


One of Edith Suttles’ favorite places in the world is New York, which is home to her two daughters, Cressida and Meredith, who are paving their way in the entertainment business.

“I’m a small town girl,” said Suttles. “I love to travel and visit, but this is more my lifestyle.”

When planning for a relaxing vacation, she likes to go to Punta Gorda, FL.

“My favorite way to travel is by car, because my husband and I try to take in some of the scenery,” said Suttles.

Raised in Akron, OH, Suttles made the move to the Lansing area in 1973 alongside her husband, Donald, whom she married in 1967.

Before the move, Suttles received a degree in education at the University of Akron. She planned to teach English and speech at the junior high level.

“I decided I wanted to become a teacher when I was eight years old,” Suttles noted.

Her motivation came from her third grade teacher at the all-black school she attended. According to Suttles, her teacher would make derogatory comments and make fun of her and her classmates, and Suttles wanted to stop that kind of behavior.

“I wanted to make sure kids had someone who cared about them and wouldn’t hurt them,” said Suttles.

After she received her degree, she became a substitute teacher. She moved to Lansing in 1973, left for a few years to live in Oklahoma, then came back permanently in 1981. Although Suttles had a passion for teaching, she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom when her children were born, and decided to actively participate on the school board instead.

“What I found after serving on the school board was I like the bigger picture — the policies and decisions that have a bigger impact,” said Suttles.

In addition to serving on the school board, Suttles has been a part of Junior League of Lansing and the Work Force Development Board, among others. Suttles recently ended 20 years of service on the Waverly School Board. She no longer has children in school, and once other women were on the ballots, she thought it would be a good time to bow out.

“I thought it was important to have a woman’s voice on the table,” said Suttles. “I still always try to be available for helping and encouraging young people.”

Now, she and her husband are empty nesters running an environmental consulting business that they started in 1984.

“I want to be a good steward for the environment and teach kids to take care of what God gives us,” said Suttles.

Tags: Edith Suttles, Environmental auditor, environmental consulting business, Junior League of Lansing, New York, school board, University of Akron, Waverly School Board, Work Force Development Board

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