Working in sales is tough, and it’s not often you meet someone who is truly passionate about their line of work or the core company’s mission. If you’ve ever worked with Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service (FBMS), chances are you’ve probably worked with one of the company’s most determined and enthusiastic employees, Debbie Kusmiz. For more than two decades, Kusmiz has worked hard to inform the Region all the good news about FBMS.
“I’ve been with the company for 25 years now,” said Kusmiz. “Donna is so brilliant. Another company that I worked for needed a service that was a direct mail project and Donna was doing a secretarial service at the time. She did some research and was able to save the company so much money and time - she said, ‘You know what? I could start a company doing this,’ and I said, ‘absolutely.’"
Kusmiz saw the amount of money her employer saved by utilizing Donna’s services and quickly became one of the earliest advocates for Flanagin’s entrepreneurial adventure. Kusmiz wanted to join the company and share her experience.
One of the many things she loves about working at Flanagin’s is the company’s compassion for their employees.
“Over the time I’ve worked at Flanagin’s Bulk Mail Service, my life has changed a lot,” Kusmiz said. “As I went through the challenges of being married and having small children, and then, unfortunately, getting a divorce, the company adapted to it and embraced it, and I will forever be grateful. Donna has become like a sister to me.”
Meeting their clients' needs was easy for both Kusmiz and Flanagin. Shortly after the launch of the mailing service, the ladies wanted to find a way to give back to the community.
“Donna, myself, and another friend started Sterling Hope so we could help fill the wishlists of non-profits,” Kusmiz said. “Non-profits always have things they need to help further their efforts. As they send the lists to us, we gather the items and deliver the supplies to them. Every day we reach out to people and try and make the world a brighter place.”
For Kusmiz, being a part of Sterling Hope has brought her own personal complications into perspective.
“It does more for me than I think it does for the people we help,” said Kusmiz. “It’s a gift to be able to find opportunities to help other people; it changes you. When I was going through my divorce, I was asking, ‘What am I going to do? How am I going to do this?’ to my neighbor who is also in Sterling Hope. She said, ‘I’ve got a homeless couple that we found a place for and we need to move them. Just put on your clothes and help move them, that’s what you should do, you’re going to feel 100 times better.’ And I could not believe how my spirits lifted. From that moment on, I said it’s not all about me, it’s about making a difference every day in any way that you can.”
When she’s not working hard to further FBMS’s mission, or doing good for Sterling Hope, you can find her with her “soulmate” traveling to see some of the greatest artists and musicians of our time.
“My husband and I have seen Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Elton John and Vince Gill in concert,” said Kusmiz. “For the last two years, my soulmate has made my dreams come true. I used to say, ‘Oh my gosh I love Elton John and I can’t believe I’ve never seen him,’ and that was one of our first dates… he surprised me with Elton John tickets. Between that, the beach, and the lake, we’re just loving life.”