Former DCTC business student donates $2,500 to Alumni Fund Drive
Susan Sorensen Langer attended Dakota County Technical College in the early 1980s. Susan studied business administration and management at DCTC. She later earned a Strategic Planning certificate from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management as a prelude to a career as an exceptionally successful businesswoman, entrepreneur, humanitarian, and fundraiser.
Today, Susan is the CEO of Spave, a financial technology startup that provides the world’s first and only wholeness app that helps people save while they spend. Supported by cutting-edge technology, the Spave® app empowers users to harness routine, daily purchases to boost their savings and contribute to charities and organizations that inspire them—all while managing their finances with more control and confidence.
“Spave is committed to making the world a better place by improving the economic well-being of individuals and communities,” Susan said. “With the Spave® app, you can track and analyze your purchases, set goals, and donate to causes you care about. You’ll even get tips on how to improve your financial health.”
Giving back to the college…
Susan’s experience in the world of fundraising and philanthropy galvanized her to contribute $2,500 to the 2021 DCTC Alumni Fund Drive—Making Dreams a Reality, which begins Wednesday, December 1, 2021, and continues until New Year’s Eve with the goal of raising $7,500 to support student scholarships and other financial resources.
Susan reported that she set up DCTC as one of her charities of choice on her personal Spave® app. “Now every time I spend on myself, I donate to DCTC,” she said with a smile.
Amy Eppen serves as the development director for the DCTC Foundation. Amy met with Susan and was impressed by the depth of her entrepreneurial expertise in the world of financial wellness and philanthropy.
“Susan is an inspiration to our graduates and students alike,” Amy said. “Her successful career includes work in advancement, world travel, executive-level leadership, ingenuity, and a strong desire to help others. Susan is a shining example of just how far a vision, solid foundation, self-confidence, and hard work can take you. Thank you, Susan, for caring about DCTC students!”
“Focus is vital. Character is priceless. Relationships are everything. Care for all three and you won’t go astray.”
Susan Sorensen Langer
Former DCTC Student
Live. Give. Save., Inc. Founder and CEO
Mosaic Mindshare Founder and CEO
2021 DCTC Alumni Fund Drive: Making Dreams a Reality
A primary purpose of the DCTC Alumni Association is to engage with, guide, and support students to foster their success. For this reason, the Alumni Advisory Board assists students through an annual fund drive each December.
These life-changing funds make dreams a reality through scholarship awards, emergency dollars for crisis situations, and resources for academic programs. Proceeds allow current and future students to focus more intently on their studies and worry less about financial hurdles. Alumni donations help our students persist to graduation and secure rewarding careers.
This year, Susan Sorensen Langer, a former DCTC business and management student, provided a lead gift of $2,500 toward the 2021 Alumni Fund Drive: Making Dreams a Reality. Susan’s generous donation gets us one-third of the way toward our goal of raising $7,500.
Join Susan, the Alumni Advisory Board, and fellow graduates who are empowering students to reach their goals of becoming welders, graphic designers, business professionals, medical assistants, civil engineering techs, software developers, and more than two dozen other career paths.
Spave: Make your own World of Difference™
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Download the Spave® app today on the App Store or Google Play.
Origins of Spave…
Susan is also the founder and CEO of Live. Give. Save., Inc., a financial tech company that was launched in 2016 and went on to create the Spave® app. In 2017, the company established the Live Give Save Foundation, which augments the collective good by giving nonprofits the turn-key technology and marketing tools they need to streamline and enhance interactions with donors.
The forerunner of Spave and Live. Give. Save. is Mosaic Mindshare, a company Susan founded in 1996 and currently heads as CEO. Mosaic Mindshare works primarily with women-owned businesses to “refine their focus, strengthen their processes, and design sustainable growth strategies.” All three companies are based in Red Wing, Minnesota.
Susan’s humanitarian and philanthropic outlook can be traced to her previous service with a number of nonprofits, including Partners and Food Solutions as vice president of marketing and development, and TreeHouse as director of development. She also served at Questscope and World Vision, the latter as director of development from 2001 to 2006.
“I traveled extensively across the globe as a donor and then employee with World Vision,” Susan said. “I’ve been to more than thirty countries on four continents—mostly Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America.”
Susan’s first trip to Africa took place in 1995. She met women micro-entrepreneurs living in abject poverty while paying off their loans at a 99 percent repayment rate.
“That’s when it struck me,” Susan recalled. “I thought, ‘There’s got to be a way to use the principles of micro-payments to help people more easily save for themselves and give to the causes they care about.’ That was the spark that ignited the idea of Spave®.”
Susan’s Africa trips gallery
More about Susan…
Originally from Bay City, Wisconsin, Susan graduated from Ellsworth High School, Class of 1980. Susan has been married 16 years to her husband, Gary, a retired corrections officer for the state of Minnesota. Susan has two stepchildren with Gary, Roarke, 27, a production manager for a siding and roofing company in New Richmond, Wisconsin, and Maddie, 26, a makeup artist and entrepreneur in River Falls.
The family has one grand-dog named Bo, a Siberian husky, and one cat named Mysti. “We don’t know what breed of cat Mysti is,” Susan said. “She’s a farm cat who found us when we lived out in the country. Mysti is 16+ years old.”
In her free time, Susan enjoys long walks with her husband, Bible study, golf, music, and yoga. Susan and Gary reside in Red Wing.
Susan Sorensen Langer • Q & A
What do you remember best about your time at DCTC?
The friends I made and the sense of community, camaraderie, and professionalism. I was proud to attend DCTC. I enjoyed all the instructors—Lois and Beverly in particular. They were smart, kind, and genuinely cared.
What advice would you give students considering entrepreneurship as their career path?
If you have something that has been burning in your soul, do it…and don’t give up. Before diving in, however, I strongly recommend having a healthy savings built up to help protect you, as it will take twice as long as you think to get your idea off the ground and raise funding to keep it going. Interview successful entrepreneurs to get their advice.
What advice would you give women considering careers in IT or other male-dominated fields?
Learn everything you can about your industry, market, competition, etc., and stay current, and you will be able to hold your own. Network with people—be present—attend industry and entrepreneurial activities. Find an accelerator and/or co-working space to be around and inspired by others. Don’t see yourself as anything but a worthy professional. Hold your head high, remain humbly confident, and don’t give up. Surround yourself with other women entrepreneurs—they will feed your soul.
Three words that describe you as an entrepreneur:
OBSERVER. PLANNER. CONNECTOR.
What is the most rewarding aspect of fundraising?
When you get a check from someone you never expected to.
What person has influenced your life the most and why?
My parents. They embedded the necessary values into my head and heart with a foundation of faith and raised me in a healthy home within a small, tightly-knit community and lots of cousins.
What inspired you to pledge $2,500 to the 2021 Alumni Fund Drive?
My conversation with Amy Eppen. She struck a chord within me and reminded me of how much I appreciated DCTC and the nice springboard it gave me to embark on my now colorful career. Amy is extremely gifted in her profession and will be a wonderful asset to DCTC. I am so glad she reached out! I now have set up DCTC as one of my charities of choice in my Spave app so that every time I spend on myself, I donate to DCTC. 🎉
What is the main reason you would return to college to complete your associate degree?
I have a passion for pursuing a Master of Divinity, however, without an associate degree, I am unable to even apply to a seminary. 😭
One word best describing your experience as CEO of your own companies:
Susan Sorensen Langer • 12 Answers
- Favorite physical activity: Golf
- Place you would most like to visit: Greece
- The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: I had a transformational trip to Africa in 1995.
- Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Cancel all my social media accounts 2) Set up a trust for our kids, church, and favorite charities 3) Travel across the globe
- Best book you’ve read lately: Thirsting for Living Water by Mike Mantel
- Time period you would explore if you could time travel: When Jesus walked the Earth
- One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Make “spave” part of the international lexicon
- Your national bird if you were your own country: Hummingbird
- Dream occupation: I’m living it.
- Person you would most like to meet: Queen Elizabeth II
- Skill you would most like to learn and master: Sign language
- Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Selfishness
Learn more about the 2021 Alumni Fund Drive and the Alumni Association by contacting:
Foundation Development Director