Local Women: Debbie Cornell

Debbie Cornell has worked for Paramount Coffee, one of the Midwest’s largest roasters, for almost 20 years. Her unique job allows her to wear many hats and use her people skills to serve both her customers and the local community.

Q: How did you get started with paramount coffee?

A: I started as a temporary service assistant doing mostly data entry and working primarily with the salespeople. I must have done everything right because they kept me on full-time and the job itself has evolved to incorporate new roles. While I still handle business sales, I also work heavily in customer service and community relations, which is nice because it’s a little more personal. I’ve always been comfortable dealing and working with people, and I’m not afraid to make mistakes. If I make a mistake, I just remember that it can always be fixed. That’s my policy: don’t sweat the small stuff.

Q: What is unique about your job?

A: Paramount Coffee is a very giving company, so I’m lucky enough to be able to incorporate community service into my daily work routine. When I ask for a day off, they know it’s usually because I’m organizing volunteers and donations within the company. For example, Paramount sponsors a monthly meal at the Mid–Michigan Ronald McDonald House and it’s my job to recruit volunteers to cook, prepare and serve the meals. (I’ve also managed) our holiday gift drive, which involves buying, wrapping and delivering gifts to the children in Sparrow Hospital’s pediatric unit. I love the fact that Paramount offers these kinds of opportunities and I truly enjoy the people I work for and with.

Q: Do you also serve the community outside of work?

A: Yes. I’ve been the area director for Clinton County Special Olympics for the past 10 years and it’s been a wonderful experience. After all, who wouldn’t want to work with people who always give more than 110 percent? I know all of my athletes and families by name and really love working with them. I call it my second job because even though I don’t get paid for doing it, I still love it just as much.

Tags: Local Women, Paramount Coffee

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