Guiding Tristar’s success for over 20 years
Susan Pamela Zubic Harker
Originally a stay-at-home mom to Stephanie and her brother, Chuck, Susan was content to raise her family the best way she knew how; with kindness and compassion. Susan has instilled these attributes in every part of her life, in her children, and in Tristar. These qualities play a large role in the culture at Tristar – distinguishing it as the service-oriented fulfillment business that it is today, and it is those very same qualities that set Tristar apart from its competitors.
While Stephanie and Chuck were still toddlers, Susan’s husband, a former coast guard, started a successful HVAC company that supported the family. This success was short-lived, and ultimately, Susan was separated from her husband and found herself in a place she didn’t expect, being mother and father to her two children, as well as the sole breadwinner of her household.
Dealing with Adversity
Susan got her start in the fulfillment industry as a secretary for a VP at a company that processed coupons and rebates for CPG companies – earning enough to get by. That is until Stephanie, Susan’s daughter, was diagnosed with diabetes and the cost of her treatment outgrew her salary. To help offset the cost Susan began to look for opportunities to earn more so that she could provide for her family. She started with her VP who suggested sales as a path forward – a road not well traveled by women traditionally at this time.
Setting the Stage
Susan began her journey in the workforce in the late 70’s/early 80’s – a time in the US that was notoriously difficult for women that wanted to be self-sufficient. The obstacles in her path were monumental, and in sales, doubly- so, as she was still committed to her secretarial duties while also doing her utmost to not be overlooked for her gender while making an impact on prospects in order to win new business and forge a path in sales.
Susan was determined to overcome her obstacles, and she started by doing outreach in order to win new business. This required Susan to sneak into the warehouse to get away from her secretarial duties and make calls to prospects in an effort to win new business. The very first deal that she won was with Leggs, a pantyhose manufacturer, and distributor. She worked with the company to create a unique program that was unexpectedly successful – beyond what anyone had envisioned. In fact, the market in which the program was piloted had to shut down its post office due to capacity constraints!
From there, the sky was the limit! She continued to pave the way for women in business by being undeniable kind and compassionate – which translated to excellent service and fulfillment. Program after program saw great success, and she reached a point where she could no longer be overlooked for being a woman. The value she brought to businesses and fulfillment programs was undeniable. She was poached several times, and traversed the promotional fulfillment landscape, bringing best-in-class service to all of the organizations she became a part of.
Founding Tristar Fulfillment
In 2000, Susan found herself working for Tristar fulfillment as an accomplished business leader that traversed a litany of obstacles and sacrificed time and again to come through for her client. When the intention to sell Tristar Fulfillment was announced, Susan decided it was time to solidify her legacy. With her business acumen guiding her, she successfully took ownership of Tristar Fulfillment and has built it into one of the best fulfillment agencies in the country.
Susan continues to lead Tristar Fulfillment, albeit from the background, now that she has given operational duties over to her children, Stephanie Ramsey-Russo and Chuck Ramsey. She has instilled her kindness and compassion, as well as her passion for excellence in service in her children and has taught them the value of hard work, self-sacrifice, and forgiveness. Stephanie and Chuck have been her motivation, her support, and her staunch allies in helping Susan build her business and have actively taken part in operations throughout Susan’s career – and they are guiding Tristar into the future, ensuring that Susan’s values are ever-present and applied to every client engagement, regardless of size.
Susan asserts that no job is ever beneath you – and every Tristar team member embodies that philosophy from the top down to deliver services that always goes the extra mile.