Success Built on Respect

Diana Rupert Livingston ’71 set forth a vision as general manager of a QVC call center that opened in Port St. Lucie, Fla., in 1999. Co-worker Tom Yurkovich still has those words hanging on his office bulletin board: “Create an environment where people feel valued, want to come to work, and feel time here is well spent.” “It’s how we treat one another,” said Yurkovich, who credits Livingston with fostering an atmosphere of respect and truly caring about the people around her. “She has a sincere interest in understanding people. If you’re going to sit down and have a conversation with Diana, she is going to be interested in what you’re saying.” Livingston worked in two of the three domestic customer contact centers of the multinational home shopping network QVC before opening her own 1,200-employee QVC call center as general manager. A teacher of emotional intelligence and a consummate volunteer recognized with the 2008 Volunteer Service Award from President George W. Bush, … [Read more...]

Ad Man Takes Station Art Deco

When John Anstey ’93 told people he planned to renovate a boarded up 1950s gas station into the headquarters for his Roanoke advertising firm, he received one of two reactions. “They would either say ‘You’re crazy’ or ‘You’re a visionary,’ ” Anstey said with a chuckle. “And there were various points along the process where I had both feelings.” Anstey has always loved old buildings. But the idea for the dramatic transformation from dilapidated gas station to art deco office space likely had its beginnings in an elective class the English major took at Mary Washington. That historic preservation class, taught by Associate Professor Gary Stanton, piqued Anstey’s interest in preserving the past. The textbook featured a former gas station that had been converted into a visitors center. “That was probably in the back of my mind during this whole process,” Anstey said. The building transformation took about six months once construction began. Before the first brick was moved, … [Read more...]