BONUS Staff Spotlight – Susann Tully
Our weekly interview series concludes with a bonus Saturday feature! We have been holding Q&A sessions with our office staff to learn about their time with Diamond K, and who they are outside of work. Our final spotlight features, last but certainly not least, Susann Tully, Chief Financial Officer for Diamond K Inc. Susann started with the company in May of 1984, and will celebrate her 35th anniversary with the company next year! You can connect with Susann on LinkedIn here.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Play an instrument. My sons play the cello and bass but I have never picked up an instrument.
If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
Funny you should ask. We just talked about this. I would buy a brand new house that I wouldn’t have to keep fixing up! I’d also take my whole family on a great vacation. Now that all of the nieces and nephews have gotten older it is harder to get everyone together. I would love to have one week together with everyone to just laugh and play without distractions.
When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
What is something you have learned in the last week?
Last month my family and I spent time together in a cabin on a lake. I never thought I would like the peace and quiet as much as I did. I learned that I am more outdoorsy than I thought!
What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?
Gardening. I love flower gardens. When I retire, I am going to have a huge beautiful garden!
What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
Derek Jeter! I started to watch baseball because of him in his rookie year with the Yankees. When you would watch him play you could tell that he not only enjoyed what he was doing but he respected the game and made it through his entire career without any controversy.
What three traits define you?
Motivated, Devoted, Compassionate
Ten years ago, who did you think you would be now?
Ten years ago I knew I would still be here. That’s how much I love working for this great company.
What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
I would never choose a different career, but if I didn’t have to work, I would love to do something with the American Cancer Society – I have always wanted to volunteer.
What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
Enjoy today because you never know what tomorrow will bring.
How do you define success?
I don’t define it by finances. Obviously you need financial stability in your life, but there must be a balance between family and work. Family is very important to me. I think anyone is successful if they can get up in the morning and be happy with what they do with their day.
What is your position at Diamond k?
My title is CFO – I do all of the office management, payroll, and finances.
If you could switch your job with anyone else within Diamond K Inc., whose job would you want?
I love what I do but recently hired Lori to take over some of my previous responsibilities. I miss doing the creative side of the job. That is one of the many things that she now handles and I do miss that.
What are 3 words to describe Diamond K Inc.?
Dedicated. Courteous. Knowledgeable.
What do you find the most challenging at Diamond K Inc.?
We are a small office – I know all of the individuals within the company personally. Health insurance is the biggest challenge I face here– figuring out what’s best for the company vs. what’s best for every individual at the company. If I change something it will affect certain employees, but I must do what’s overall the best choice for the company.
What do you like most about Diamond K Inc.?
I love the people that I work with, and the day-to-day problem solving. No two days are ever the same here, which keeps things interesting!
What have you gained from working at Diamond K Inc.?
Oh my god—too much to list! The knowledge of the finance world, and the overall recycling business, how it all works. Just to sit next to David and see how everything functions within the paper industry and, in turn, the financial side of the business, has affected me immeasurably. I have loved being able to see the company grow, and the challenges that came up along the way. David taught us how to get through the tough times and what you need to do to make certain your company survives any economic situation. We have been through it all, and to do that we had to make a strong balance sheet. Because of all this, I’ve learned valuable business and financial skill sets.
What is on your wish list for the next 10 years with Diamond K Inc.?
I want to see the company continue to grow even more than it already has.
What is your proudest moment at Diamond K Inc.?
I am most proud of the people we have hired. As far as I’m concerned, you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with—and I have the best of the best here. We are a family here at Diamond K—we have been together for so long, most of us for over 25 years. I am proud of the fact that the people I hire come here and stay for good.
How do you feel about working for David Kirtland?
I have had the honor of sharing an office with David for the past 35 years. I learned from the best. The amount of knowledge that he has given me is insurmountable. There is nothing more exciting than to come in every day and face different challenges and overcome them as a team. We are fortunate with what we have, because most companies become stagnant. They don’t want to learn new technology, or change things with new trends. We are the opposite. We search for challenges and continue to make certain we grow and keep up with trends, which is exactly what David taught us. He is the epitome of a great leader and role model.