Her headshot session was arranged via email with her assistant, so the first time I met Amy Supple was the day she walked into my studio. She’s reserved at first, minimalist and understated. But as we worked together I started to see a wicked-smart, strong-as-steel, quietly confident, warm personality.
Amy’s career began 25 years ago when she moved to Chicago to go to graduate school. Since then she’s worked on $6 billion worth of real estate projects, including Nordstrom Mall on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Lambeau Field and Mayo Clinic.
Today she’s the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Edgewater Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin, and she’s been married to her husband Jeff for 17 years.
“And you still like each other?” I asked her. She smiled.
“We do. He’s my best friend.”
Growing up in upstate New York and then Indianapolis, she wanted to be a fashion designer.
“I always drew when I was a kid,” she said. “I played music and made my own songs up on the piano. My mom got into fashion as a means of having a job in the home. She sold clothes out of trunk shows. I got into it and started drawing clothes.
“Right up until I was applying for colleges I was convinced I was going to go to New York and go to FIT [Fashion Institute of Technology]. My parents asked me to get a traditional degree. ‘See if you still want to do it in four years.’ Of course life takes you in 12 different directions so I didn’t end up doing it. But I still love it. I always think I’ll go back to it one day.”
“Your next career?” I asked.
“Right! You never know,” Amy smiled.
In her personal life and career, Amy thrives on challenge. She loves to cook, and preparing dinner for 15 people doesn’t faze her a bit. In her work, she has often taken on jobs that she’s never done before. “I love to jump in with both feet and see where I land. Figuring things out is the fun part. I like to be challenged and crazy, it’s part of my personality. I’m not good when I’m bored.”
I asked her friend Joanna Burish what she most appreciated about Amy. “My favorite thing? That’s tough to have just one! Amy’s salt-of-the-earth groundedness. Her loyalty. Her fierce perseverance. She’s a true Braud! There aren’t many others I’d like by my side more than Amy.
"Also, to be in her presence when she giggles is a true treasure! Not many get to be that close.”