Heidi Macpherson

Heidi Macpherson

Power 100 list

Heidi Macpherson

President, SUNY Brockport

heidi-macphersonYears in current role: 6

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Just because something is a good idea doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. In order to be successful in leading a project or initiative, you need to build your base, look at an issue from multiple perspectives, and bring people with you. Essentially, you need to try to figure out what the emotions behind the concerns are, and whether if you look at the issue from another perspective, you might get a better answer.

What’s been your biggest success?

It’s easy to say the biggest success was solving the college’s fiscal crisis in 2015, or having a successful semester despite the worldwide pandemic in 2020, but success looks different from that. Big successes are made up of little successes. I’m proud of the work we do mentoring students to become their best selves, and I love the difference that small daily acts make to a student’s trajectory. Success is the student who walks across the stage at commencement when they weren’t sure they could do it and who truly makes a difference to the lives of others as a result.

What are your hopes for the Rochester community this year?

That we will take the opportunity to learn from and with each other in order to better serve the collective good.

What do you do to unplug in your free time?

My husband and I like to cook together: one of us is the chef, and the other is the sous chef, depending on the recipe and the meal (but we also love eating out!). Sunday nights we devote to a meal and a movie whenever we can. We also like to walk our dogs along the Erie Canal or hike in one of the local parks and just enjoy the beautiful scenery we have in our area.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 100 list for 2021. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at rbj.net.