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Eveline Susanto Lewis says her work ethic has resulted in leadership roles in five countries she’s called home over her life.
Born in Indonesia, Lewis moved in 2012 to Springfield from the Philippines to work at Evangel University as an adjunct faculty member and start a new program: Nonprofit Business and Social Enterprise. She then became full-time faculty in 2015 before being promoted three years later to chair of the university’s business department.
“As a servant leader, I am aware of the needs of the people around me, including understanding their backgrounds and what motivates them to move forward and what fosters their growth. As an education institution, we focus on our student success, but we also need to make sure our faculty members are successful,” she says.
Lewis says she takes pride in her students who have graduated and become business and civic leaders. She sees the fruit of her labor as young men and women spend hours in her office discussing their future and seeing beyond imposed or perceived limitations, such as gender, race and upbringing, to pursue their dreams.
To help connect students with companies, she says the business department launched a career fair in 2019, which has continued annually, even amid the coronavirus pandemic. Lewis also counts leading the department to obtain full accreditation in 2019 from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs among her proudest professional accomplishments.
Carol Taylor retired in late 2020 after serving as Evangel’s president since 2013.
She says Lewis excels as a faculty leader and department chair, demonstrating exceptional skills.
“I recently retired after more than 45 years of serving in both public and private education and can say that Dr. Lewis is among the best academic leaders with whom I’ve been privileged to serve,” Taylor says. “Her unique life and professional experiences have shaped her into an extraordinary, selfless leader who is an asset to any university and community.”
When it comes to community service, Lewis brands herself as a “compassionate business leader.”
“I believe business can be used as the force of good in the community, not only as the economic development tools but also as the tools to bring positive social change,” she says.
Her current civic work includes serving on the advisory panel for the Drew Lewis Foundation Nonprofit Career Academy, as a member of the Small Business Council for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and an advisory council representative for the GO CAPS. She’s previously volunteered with Life360 Community Services and Victory Mission & Ministry.
“I believe our growth and development must be nurtured by not only working hard as we face our own challenges, but also engaging in our community and being involved in civic affairs,” she says.
The first downtown Springfield branch for Arvest Bank opened; a longtime licensed massage therapist became a first-time business owner; and 7 Brew Coffee opened its fourth shop in Springfield.