susanne segal
Susanne Segal

2023 Person of the Year:
Susanne Segal

Susanne Segal is the founder of Olive Tree Press, and managed communications for Il Cenacolo from 1997 to mid-2023. She is also an Honorary Member.

Susi was born with a love of language and book arts. Her mother was a visual artist, and her father a lifelong learner. They owned a furniture store in San Francisco’s North Beach called “Emil Cellini Italian Marble Company” with their “Cellini Gallery” in the loft above. Susi attended a bilingual elementary school,  Marina Middle School, Lowell High School and UC Berkeley, where she studied linguistics and languages. At the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, she completed her BA cum laude and went on to receive an MBA at Simmons Graduate School of Management in Boston.

She lived in Boston and Cambridge for over 15 years, honing her skills in writing, editing and graphic design. As an “intrapreneur” she managed several in-house publication projects at various institutions and small businesses. Leaning upon this experience, she returned to San Francisco and founded Olive Tree Press, combining her passion for the printed word with the entrepreneurial tradition of her parents and grandparents. Since then, Olive Tree Press has specialized in small-press “soup-to-nuts” projects for local businesses, nonprofits, and individuals, spanning the gamut from marketing materials to memoirs. One of her first (and favorite) customers in this new venture was Il Cenacolo, which she has been delighted to serve for the past 26 years.

Susi’s professional development has focused on art, graphic design, and writing, and her travels add a multicultural perspective. Some highlights: in San Francisco, she studied fontography and designed an original typeface; in Jerusalem, she studied with a scribe to learn Hebrew calligraphy using quill on parchment; and in Athens, at a practicum in Byzantine iconography, she created an authentic gold-leaf icon, and wrote a bilingual instruction handbook on the process. In pursuit of more profound language studies at UC Berkeley, Susi wrote a research paper on advanced Hebrew biblical texts as part of her postgraduate work. These explorations and adventures have informed her work at Olive Tree Press.

Susi and her husband Andreas, among other travels, have spent considerable time in Italy, enjoying his daughter and her three bambini. In 2015, they moved to Port Townsend, Washington, where they live in an old renovated farmhouse. Susi continues her editing and book design projects, as well as volunteering, growing mouthwatering tomatoes, and enjoying the view of the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.