Kathy Dennis

Kathy Schumacher, ‘09, Owner of The Finishing Touch Wedding Florist & Consultant  

 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF SANDBURG?

Having been out of school for quite a few years I was a bit nervous, yet excited, to return to the classroom. Carl Sandburg College counselors helped me to choose courses and make an easy entrance into the college curriculum while keeping my full time job. I had some very helpful instructors and counselors to guide me through the years. It took me about 5 years of part time courses, taking a mixture of night classes and online classes while maintaining full time employment. Walking across the stage to receive my associates’ degree, with high honors, and having family and friends supporting me along the journey there, is a lasting memory.

WHAT DID YOU DO AFTER GRADUATING FROM CARL SANDBURG COLLEGE?

I continued my full time employment, as the courses at Carl Sandburg College assisted me in advancing my position at the agency, while attending school.  I improved my computer skills, accounting abilities, and human resource knowledge. Various speech courses gave me greater confidence in interpersonal communications for both the agency I work for and my personal wedding floral business. The literature courses improved my abilities in such a way that I have actually edited (and am credited as an editor for) a recent book by a local author.

TALK ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS, THE FINISHING TOUCH AND OTHER EMPLOYMENT

I own and operate The Finishing Touch so I serve as a wedding florist, consultant, and director. The Finishing Touch has been providing services for over 28 years in West-Central Illinois but have had weddings as far as Central Wisconsin, in both fresh and silk flowers. As a Wedding Director, I help to take the stress off the bride and her family to keep the day running smoothly so they can enjoy the event. I also am employed at a local home care organization that services 10 counties and have been there for almost 13 years. My position within the company is Communications Coordinator and I facilitate communications between 4 offices, assist with human resources, take care of medical supplies for field staff and clients, and assist with payroll as needed, among other responsibilities.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS OR FELLOW CARL SANDBURG COLLEGE ALUMNI?

Whether starting college right after high school or waiting until later years, like I did, go for it! Attending college can help put a focus on the things a person wants to accomplish in life. Carl Sandburg College has great instructors and a supportive staff to help students become the best they want to be. Having a good support system with family and friends is important.  I would bounce ideas off of my husband and our daughters for projects I was working on, and my employer put my training to work in many aspects of the business.  In the end, I gained more confidence in public relations and finished with a 4.0, so the hard work with support was worth it. Don’t overlook the support of the Carl Sandburg College Foundation because scholarships are available for all types of programs.