Eichelberger takes on new role at Democrat

Staff Writer

Decatur Daily Democrat

    Decatur Daily Democrat publisher B.J. Riley announced today that longtime employee Debbie Eichelberger has been named Sales Manager of the newspaper.
    "I am pleased that Debbie will take on this new role as Sales Manager," Riley said. "Debbie cares deeply about this organization, this community and our customers. This is a perfect fit and I know Debbie will flourish in her new role."
    Born in Hagerstown, Maryland, Eichelberger attended school in Delaware where her father was a pilot. She moved to Decatur in 1989, and soon after fell in love with the quaintness and close feel of the community.
    She began her career at the Daily Democrat in 1994, after being lured to the sales position. "Mark Miller convinced me that I could be in the sales department," Eichelberger said. "I was really good at fundraising for organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters, the United Way, my sorority … any organization that needed help, somehow they found me.
  "One day I was bringing in another picture for something or other and he said, 'You know I have a position here in the sales department.'" However, Eichelberger was unsure she could do the job, as her degree is in business management and accounting. "I don't know how to sell things," she recalls telling Miller, to which he replied, "What do you think you're doing when you're raising money for all these organizations?"
    Between Miller — who is a former publisher of the Democrat — and Ron Platt, a former advertising manager at the paper, Eichelberger learned the ropes of newspaper advertising.
    "They were the ones who trained me to be able to sell our newspaper to our customers, and prove to them consistently why we needed them and they needed us. It's a two-way street. Some of my customers, I've been with them so long, I'm on the third generation."
    Another mentor of Eichelberger's is former DDD Editor, Bob Shraluka, whose work ethic reminds her of her grandfather. "It really bothers me when I can't fix a mistake. My work ethic comes from my grandparents. My grandpap was a farmer and a milk hauler, and he lived his life by a certain code: You do what you can to help people, and you live by the Golden Rule.
    "Bob was very much like that, too. He has a mindset that you work until it's done. He didn't complain about what needed to be done, he just dug in and got it done. I admire him a great deal. I was very proud to work with him."
    Eichelberger doesn't see any major changes coming with the new job, wanting only to see our community continue to grow and maintain that close-knit bond she fell in love with all those years ago.
    "I love seeing the result when something I've sold to my customers has done well for them. To know they have that trust in me to know what I'm selling them is what's best for their company or organization is a great feeling.
    "I'm extremely honored that B.J. (Riley) thinks enough of me to give me this opportunity. There's the old part of me, from when I first came here, that can't believe I've come this far.
    "I am very proud of my two children, Becki Eichleberger and Brad Eichleberger, and my grandson, Noah. I enjoy being part of the community. I feel at home here."