Deb Muchmore is one of Michigan’s most respected public relations strategists and counselors, but her new role as partner at Kandler Reed Khoury and Muchmore has also added her name to the respected business owner list.
Though she insists others deserve praise for their role in business, the motivated and spirited Muchmore clearly has a knack for it. The values and tools she uses in business aren’t just from formal education and training, she says it goes back much farther than that to her school days.
“It really goes back to White Pigeon Elementary and all the way through college. I had great teachers,” Muchmore said. “They must have done something right, because I would credit them for instilling in me curiosity. Not just in one thing, but finding an interest in a lot of things. It really is why I do what I do.”
Muchmore carried with her into her career curiosity and the value of hard work. Both came into play when she took her first job out of college in radio sales. A job she swears all people should have to try once.
“It’s a great learning job. It teaches you about business, but really it teaches you a lot about yourself. I had great teachers, but I was terrible at it. I was very thin skinned, but I learned a lot and it taught me communication and how to find my personal strengths,” Muchmore said. “It led me to my next job. When I left sales I moved to the buying side, being able to see both sides helped me better understand what would work.”
As her career progressed, she found each job gave her new skills and the drive to learn more. Recently, Muchmore made the decision to make a professional move and become a partner at Kandler Reed Khoury and Muchmore. A move that was both exciting and challenging for her.
“I chose to make this move, but it’s harder than you think,” she said. “It’s exciting, but change can be challenging. I am used to coaching people through change, but it takes on a new meaning when you’re doing it personally. I was at a place where I was ready to make this move, and even on the tough days when I feel like I’m slogging through it, I know it is worth it.”
Muchmore’s new role may come with some challenges, but she has also found a new spark and passion for her line of work.
“My favorite part has always been helping others to be successful. I like helping clients not just reach their goals, but go farther than that. You’re really part of creating someone’s dream,” said Muchmore. “I think it’s fun, finding a way to make everything come together and help people do more than they thought they could do.”
Muchmore has always loved her role in the community and in her career, but with her move to partner she has also discovered an interest in business that has flourished.
“I’ve always been busy, but in this last year my role has changed a little bit. I am still a strategist and love helping people accomplish their goals, but I have also added the additional role in business,” Muchmore said. “I think it’s really exciting. I have learned so much and just like to take it all in. It’s fun! It’s what Michigan is built on and what makes the country as a whole tick. Small business help sets the rhythm and beat for the state. There is a lot of pride with that.”
Muchmore credits much of her success to good timing, good people and good luck — though anyone who knows her would argue it’s her supportive, encouraging nature that has turned opportunity into success.
“I have had so many influential people in my life, my parents, my partners and of course my husband. Dennis is not only my best friend, but he has been an incredible influence in my career. He has encouraged me in every way and has helped so many others along the way too. He really is a great cheerleader,” said Muchmore. “I’ve never really had a mentor in the traditional sense, but I’d have to say someone else who has had a tremendous impact on my career has been Bill Rustem. He has had an incredible impact on the state, he is thoughtful, smart and strategic, and I try to
Muchmore truly works to put good things into the community and strongly believes that what you put in is what you get back out. She invests her personal time in supporting organizations with the chamber, sitting on boards and working with the next generation of business leaders.
“It’s all part of a great trip. If you treat people kindly, thoughtfully and respectfully, all that will come back to you in your family, friendships
And business to Muchmore is gender neutral. Though she is a woman surrounded by men, she says she’s never felt this played a part in her career and she encourages all students to work toward their personal goals and make the rules
“It takes a lot of chutzpah to challenge yourself, to make a change or take a chance. Some people thrive on change and others thrive on structure. Know yourself and that is when you get the biggest reward,” Muchmore said. “It won’t always be easy. But like my mother would always say when I was sick or upset: ‘go out and get some fresh air.’ It was her way of saying when anything gets tough (or if you have a slight fever) take a breath, put your mind on something positive and move forward and the rest of your troubles will fall away. It’s great medicine for everything!”