True Life: Sue Pabst

Sue Pabst, Senior Customer Service Representative

Inside the Office:

Sue is Vanguard Direct’s Senior Customer Service Representative, but she has many areas of expertise. Over thirty-three years at Vanguard Direct, she has worked in every department and therefore has an understanding of how every part of the company contributes to the whole. She has been involved with order entry, billing, data processing, customer service, and promotion. Currently, she creates promotional product solutions and acts as a liaison between vendors and Vanguard Direct.

Outside the Office:

Long Island, the summer escape for many New Yorkers, is Sue’s permanent home. When Vanguard Direct had a Long Island office, her commute was a mere five minutes, which is miniscule compared to the hour (-plus) trek to get to work now. In her free time, Sue enjoys traveling, going to Broadway shows, and quilting, and she has recently joined a book club. She is a regular at Fire Island and lives only three miles away from North Shore Beach. Growing up by the Atlantic has made Sue try most water sports and activities––she is a fan of kayaking but could do without snorkeling. So where does a woman who lives in most people’s ideal vacation spot go to relax?

Sue’s favorite retreat is Hawaii, where she has a timeshare with her sister, and she tries to go for a week or two every other year. A bonus perk of her Hawaiian vacation is seeing the multiple weddings that take place at night on the beach. (That sounds much more enjoyable than just people-watching on the slick summer streets of Manhattan!) Another fun part of being in Hawaii is attending local pig roasts, which serve as a way to celebrate a healthy life and good friends. One of the native staples to eat on the island is poi, a ground-up root that serves as a Hawaiian comfort food. But travelling twelve hours to Hawaii is not enough for this avid explorer. Sue has literally gone halfway around the world for new experiences. She has journeyed all the way to China and Tibet. Sue believes traveling broadens your horizons and that there is a monumental difference in learning about something and actually seeing and experiencing it.

Vanguard Direct Experience:

Sue began her career at Vanguard Direct when there were only four other employees, and out of the five she was the only one who was not a salesperson. It was a time before computers (BC, as Sue calls it), when she had to type up invoices on a typewriter and all five employees did the all the work for the company in one little room. In the beginning, she would have to call up vendors and suppliers, coordinate shipments, and do all of the “behind the scenes” work herself to get one job done. Even though there was a lot to do, Sue was happy to be working with good people. She started working with Jack O’Connell and now continues to work with his sons, Bob and Don. Throughout the years, she has done a little bit of everything and seen almost everything. Sue’s favorite part of the business is seeing ideas transform into reality––more important, she loves seeing the stamps “DELIVERED” and “PAID.” Both of them give her a sense of closure and accomplishment. It is an unparalleled experience to be able to watch a business grow from five people in a room to 157 employees in three branches. Senior Managers Bob and Don O’Connell like to joke that Sue knows more secrets about Vanguard than they do, but they both recognize that she has invaluable insight into the printing business. Although Sue admits that the prevalence of print is lessening, she maintains that there will always be those people who prefer paper to digital––print will never die.

Authors: Lindsey Clark, Liz Baron, MinJi Kim


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