Mary Kohler literally grew up in the printing business.
"My parents owned and operated a printing business in Lancaster for many years. And when I was old enough, they put me to work. Frankly, I wasn't sure that this would lead me to a career. It wasn't until later, when education allowed me to see the possibilities, that I realized that this business gave me the opportunity to apply continuing education on a day to day basis. The situation I'm in, with advances in technology and growing consumer demands, challenges me to keep up with what's going on. I love learning and I'm blessed with this on-going opportunity. And business is great!"
Like most of Etown's adult learners, Mary determined that higher education was worth the effort to balance learning and doing at the same time. "Elizabethtown College really lives its mission of Educate for Service. I've been able to apply the learning from my courses to real world business application. The accounting and marketing courses were particularly helpful."
I've been able to apply the learning from my courses to real world business application.
Starting as an employee in her parents Sir Speedy franchise printing business, Mary's career has evolved steadily. The Sir Speedy franchise agreement is still in place, but the business is now called the H&H Group. H&H is a full service marketing communications organization offering printing, marketing, signs, e-commerce, fulfillment and books. "H&H Group was named in honor of my parents, Phil and Cam Huepennbecker. They gave me my start in this profession, and are proud parents. They continue to be impressed by the evolvement of the business into what it is today, a far cry from the printing business they remember."
The H&H Group employs a staff of 30 people, Mary observes, "We all stay very busy meeting the needs of our growing roster of Clients. Our key people are involved in industry seminars and trade shows. We host educational events for the business community, some with high-end industry experts as speakers. We hold regular staff meetings to share knowledge. We drill down on 90 days at a time for strategic planning. The H&H Group also recognizes the importance of networking the business within the community and the industry. The system works."
When asked what advice she would give SCPS students, Mary was quick to respond. "Have a vision. Be flexible. Find partners who are accountable. And yes, never stop learning."