Erica C. Demick, 29: YesterYear’s Vintage Doors

 

Erica C. Demick is only 29 years old, but she exudes a confidence and wisdom well beyond her age.

Those skills, coupled with a close-knit family, appear to be the winning formula for helping her reach her professional and personal goals.

The Hammond native has worked since 2007 as a partner in her family’s business, YesterYear’s Vintage Doors, 66 S. Main St.

She serves as the company’s national sales and marketing manager, a job that puts her in contact with customers from across the United States, Canada and other locations.

Founded in 1990 by her parents, Howard W. and Rosemary Demick, the company handcrafts between 2,000 and 3,000 customized doors a year from a 13,000-square-foot facility in the village of Hammond. Besides her parents, the 13 full-time employees include her brother, Ryan D., who works as production and operations manager.

Ms. Demick said she’s a firm believer that creating a vision for the future is a key to success.

“Have a vision for your personal life and your business life and re-evaluate it every so often,” she suggested. “It’s amazing what you can do when you set goals.”

Looking ahead to their parents’ retirement, Ms. Demick and her brother are preparing a long-term strategic plan for the company.

She’s confident that continuing to use high-quality materials and personal craftsmanship will keep the company moving forward.

Although she didn’t anticipate staying in the area after graduating from college, Ms. Demick said she is grateful to have a rewarding position that allows her to remain in the north country with her parents, brother and other extended family members.

“I like being my own boss and having the ability to shape the future of our company,” Ms. Demick said. “I also love the area.”

She believes that north country high schools should team up with the four colleges in St. Lawrence County to develop a message that encourages young people to live and work in the north country rather than move away. North country alumni could be invited to speak with students about their careers, she said.

“People should be encouraged to start their own businesses or generate income in multiple ways,” she said.

Being involved in community groups helps her network with a variety of people and learn from those she meets.

She serves as a charter member of the Northern New York Community Foundation’s LEAD Council, and secretary of the Thousand Islands Young Leaders Organization. She also founded the Town of Hammond’s Economic Development Committee and serves as chairwoman of the Town of Hammond’s Republican Committee. She’s a member of the Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions.

She’s learned that getting involved is more effective than sitting back complaining and it’s a positive way to make connections in your personal and private lives.

“If you get involved, you find out things can be solved. Getting involved can be as simple as voting,” she said. “I think you can learn a lot from everybody, if you’re paying attention.”

Since last year, she has served as a mentor for freshman entrepreneurship students at Clarkson University and served as an advisory board member for the Thousand Islands Regional Assessment Project. She served on the fundraising committee for Samaritan Medical Center’s Thousand Islands Golf Classic.

She noted that doors made at their facility in Hammond have been shipped to customers in all 50 states, Canada, the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, and other locations. Many sales originate on the Internet through the company’s website, VintageDoors.com. The company also advertises in national magazines such as “This Old House.”

Ms. Demick credits her parents for establishing a family business that may continue for generations. She has also been inspired by extended family members who run their own businesses.

“We have a strong entrepreneurial spirit,” she said. “We have a very strong family unit and we work well together.”

— by Susan Mende

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The Erica C. Demick File

Hometown: Hammond

Professional position: National sales and marketing manager, YesterYear’s Vintage Doors

Family: Parents, Howard W. and Rosemary Demick; brother, Ryan D.

Education: Hammond Central School; bachelor’s in business, Clarkson University, 2007

Community involvement: Charter member, Northern New York Community Foundation LEAD Council; secretary, Thousand Islands Young Leaders Organization; founding member, Town of Hammond Economic Development Committee; chairwoman, Town of Hammond Republican Committee; member, Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions; mentor for freshman entrepreneurship students, Clarkson University; advisory board member, Thousand Islands Regional Assessment Project; fundraising committee member, Samaritan Medical Center’s Thousands Island Golf Classic.

Last book read: “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell