In a membership-wide election earlier this year, two exceptional AMBC Members who had been nominated to serve on the AMBC volunteer board of directors were elected by their peers.
Please join us in congratulating Mary Bray and Crysta Reeves on their election to the AMBC board! These two amazing individuals will be joining our dedicated board starting January 1, 2021. We can’t wait to see and hear them in our monthly board meetings, and we are sure their insight and bright attitudes will improve every AMBC Member’s experience!
Here’s a little message from each:
of Pak Mail Thorpe Lane in San Marcos, Texas
I am honored to have been nominated as a board member of such an amazing organization as AMBC.
A bit about my background: I grew up in Mexico, so I speak Spanish fluently. I’ve had a real estate license for 15 years, insurance license for three years, and notary commission for almost 20 years. I have been in the packing and shipping business for about 10 years, and have held many management positions ever since I was in junior high when I was elected class president.
I’m the oldest of my siblings. My beloved late dad used to travel a lot for work and I became my mom’s right hand from the time my first sibling was born. I think it was the fact that I grew up being entrusted with so much responsibility, in addition to my own school homework, that my mentality has always been to do what I need to do and to help where my help is needed and to keep moving along and reach the goals at hand.
As an adult, I have held many positions and been untrusted with titles from organizations where my two sons were involved, such as sports or Boy Scouts, in roles like treasurer, den mom, office manager, and that kind of thing.
Being an entrepreneur runs in my blood. Most everyone in my immediate family owns their own business. Though I have been employed by others most of my life, I’ve had a side business as a traveling notary / signing agent along with a full time job, which gave me additional income and the flexibility to still raise my sons and tend to their needs, as family is what matters to me most.
Later on, my sons and I ran an online business for about 10 years, gained lots of experience packing and shipping and it prepared me for my next challenge in life.
In the part of town where we live, we noticed the need for a pack and ship kind of place. We then turned this new venture into Mom’s next thing to do. Little did I know, it was going to be such a different experience, compared to online sales. Now, having a brick and mortar business and providing in-person customer service, I found myself in a very tough spot very quickly.
About a year after I opened my store and about to close my doors, I found out about an event in Houston, through PC Synergy. There, I met Fahim and Seema and they spoke about their own experience as store owners and how social media had helped their business. They also shared so many great ideas and completely inspired me to keep going and they would help me! Their energy and hope, passed on to me through their own experience, truly motivated me to not give up and helped me understand I am not alone, and it can be done!
They invited me to an AMBC event in St Louis and there I met lots Fahims and Seemas (so to speak) and I knew I was in the right place—so many folks just wanting to share and help other store owners like me. It was amazing.
Though I have been about to close so many times, I feel the help I have received from AMBC has been crucial in growing my business. I have now been to a few AMBC events and I just love the growth that happens at each event. I also know I can just reach out by email or pick up the phone and someone will be just delighted to help.
My faith and my health are strong, and I believe in myself and in this organization. I hope to make those who elected me to the board—my fellow AMBC Members—proud.
of Pack & Mail Plus and Pack & Mail Station in Duluth and Cloquet, Minnesota
A little bit about me:
I purchased my first store in August of 2007. It was a long-established store, that until that time had only been run on paper waybills and a manual price lists—no POS system and no box inventory (only recycled boxes and supplies). The store was updated and computerized with the help of PostalMate and packing materials and retail items were added to sell. We updated copiers and added some TVs for menu boards and we opened the doors for a relaunch!
In 2009, the next closest competitor to our store (17 miles away) told us that he was going to retire and asked if I was interested in purchasing his store. In January of 2010, I completed the purchase and moved the store to a better fitting location in the same shopping mall and relaunched with some updates and changes in the new location. I also rebranded the first store to market both as one business with multiple locations.
I also opened Northland Cheer Heads (think Big Heads / Fat Heads) in 2016. I run that out of our second store location and so we do lots of online order fulfillment.
I continue to learn and grow as much as I can in this ever-changing industry and enjoy meeting and sharing ideas and information with other store owners. I look forward to being a part of the AMBC board and helping our members grow!