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Name: Kara Demirjian Huss

Occupation: President of DCC Marketing, vice president and global marketing director of T/CCI Manufacturing, president of DemirCo Properties, wife and mom of four

Age: 47

City of residency: Decatur

When you were young, what did you think you wanted to be when you grew up? 

Probably a fashion designer. I definitely wanted to go into the fashion industry, as fashion was a big passion of mine. I loved every aspect of fashion, from the creativity to the presence that it gave you. Fashion was art to me. 

Who have been some of the biggest influences in your life?

A few people: my parents, with my dad particularly having an incredible influence on me because of his wisdom and knowledge. There's my brother Richard; I've learned so much from him in the business, and I love working with him in the family company. I think he's been a huge part of my growth and a huge support to me personally. 

My husband and I, we are a great team. I'm very fortunate to have him to be able to do the things that I've done. There's Bill Cayton, who was the first person I worked for in our family of companies. He taught me how to have my ducks in a row and how to think strategically, how to be organized, prioritized and how to manage the conversation. 

And Mr. (Ed) Bachrach. Bachrach was the company that I worked for right out of college, and there, I learned a sales perspective, front-line customer service and the ability to wear a lot of hats and do them all. He was integral in that, and provided me a great opportunity at such an early age. 

What’s the best thing about what you do?

As a business ownerthe best thing is leading an amazingly talented team. DCC is family. I truly enjoy what I do and being a leader. I am passionate about our people and culture, guiding and growing the business, developing partners, not clients and inspiring talent, creativity and innovation.

I also love that I wear so many hats. I thrive off of the challenge and the diversity that each day brings. I can succeed because of the team of talent that surrounds me at work and at home.

As a mom, I love to create an environment that fosters (my children's) independence and problem solving. For me, since my schedule is so hectic and I literally can’t be at everything, it’s about finding quality time to spend with them together and individually.

Outside of work, how do you like to spend your free time within the community?

I enjoy being involved in so many things in the community. It gives me a real sense of pride and connection in helping others and hopefully improving lives. For the past three years, I have been a Girl Scout troop leader. I have just thoroughly been blessed with this experience. I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but I believed that the impact that I could make on these young girls would be worth the investment.

What I found was that I personally gained so much from this — probably even more than they have! I have to say, sometimes it’s hard to disconnect from everything, but I definitely believe it is important to save a small amount of time for myself and my own sanity. You bet I am up at 5 a.m. with espresso and off to spin class at the Decatur Athletic Club at 6 a.m.!

Have you recently set any goals for yourself to accomplish?

Yes, both personally and professionally. Here a few from my list:

  • Build a dynamic culture where our values drive attitudes and behaviors
  • Build more quality relationships that are rooted in trust
  • Invest in talent
  • Communicate more effectively and more often
  • Create a legacy at the company — something that builds connectivity and that we can all get behind
  • Unplug more often, so I personally can do more active listening (particularly at home)
  • Expose my children to new places and experiences around the world
  • Focus on my fitness and health
  • Focus on my family's nutrition and health
  • Spend more time with family and friends and re-engage with good friends that I haven’t stayed in touch with
  • Take the time to observe instead of just seeing.

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Contact Jaylyn Cook at (217) 421-7980. Follow him on Twitter: @jaylyn_HR

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Public Safety Reporter

Public safety reporter for the Herald & Review.

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