Employee Spotlight Series

Debbie Cohen

Yearbook Sales Representative

About our Employee Spotlights

We will be featuring the Employee Spotlight series on our websites to celebrate our amazing employees and give you a chance to get to know them better.

Debbie Cohen

I've been a Walsworth Yearbook Rep for about four years, having come from a different yearbook company.

I have the greatest job on the planet. I get to visit with friends (my yearbook advisers) every day. I enable teens to tell their stories both journalistically and visually. The story and how we tell it has evolved significantly during the years I've been in publishing. From camera-based photography to augmented reality, and an ever-changing vocabulary, students keep me grounded on trends and pop culture. It's a blast!

A big part of the fun for me is cold calling "future friends" - the majority of prospects who don't reply to emails or return phone calls. I've learned over the years that some of the people I may have thought are rude, hostile or disinterested are simply busy like the rest of us. Persistence pays off; many of these prospects have become longtime customers and close friends.

I've worked in the printing industry since 1987, when I moved from an ad agency to selling national advertising at the Boston Herald newspaper. From the daily newspaper and weekly niche publications, I went on to develop lifestyle magazines and monetize media web presence. I've been a yearbook publisher for 14 years.

As a top rep at another yearbook company, I regularly received calls about opportunities from competitors. Once I engaged with Susie Gillam, I had a hunch that Walsworth could be home for me. Meeting the sales management team, Don Jr. and Don Sr., I knew that the integrity of this family business was a good match for me and what I strive to provide to my customers.

If I had a personalized coffee mug at work, it would probably say “Be better today than you were yesterday.”

I still wake up in the morning saying, "I get to go to work today!" The combination of service/partnership to my existing customers and the fun of selling new business keeps every day fresh.

Fun fact: I've never had cytomegalovirus so unlike 80% of American adults, my blood can be used by newborn and premature infants. This drives me to donate blood every eight weeks. No matter where I am on the road, I find an American Red Cross blood drive to donate. I've been doing this since high school and have donated many gallons of blood! #heroesforbabies

I am blessed with a very sweet husband of 28 years, Lewis. Our daughter Deena is 27 and lives in London, and our son David is 24 and lives in New York City. Maizy, our poodle mix, keeps us moving. Maizy is named for the Maize and Blue of Michigan - GO BLUE!

For fun, I enjoy reading, swimming, cooking, attending concerts, plays and musicals.

Walsworth has allowed me to continue my long relationships with customers by providing the quality, partnership and integrity they deserve. It's a great feeling to exceed customer expectations, and that's allowed me to build relationships that will flourish far into the future.

I've been in sales a long time and believe that the company provides me with opportunity but what I do with it is up to me. With the strength of Walsworth, that's allowed me to thrive and grow my business, which also allows me to provide for my family.

In addition to my regular blood donation (see above), I'm involved with a local suicide education program that's expanding its presence in high schools and colleges in the northeast.

Starting at Walsworth in October, 2019, I attended one ISM before Covid cancelled the fun. Though I barely knew my colleagues, many reps in the field and folks at the plant quickly reached out and became friends. That says a lot about Walsworth's culture.