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Celebrating the Career of an Access Legend

By Brandon Carter | Updated on Aug 8, 2012 6:22:30 AM

Access Development is a pioneer in the merchant funded rewards space, coming on the scene in 1984 with the idea of finding a win-win-win situation with consumers, businesses and organizations. Sherry Larsen was Access' first employee, working alongside founder Larry Maxfield, and 28 years later she's retiring as Partner from a company that bears the indelible mark of her work ethic and personality.

Sherry made many personal sacrifices to get the young, fledgling company off the ground, and now we're celebrating her career, which has seen Access grow into a national leader in the loyalty space and a major contributor to the Utah economy.

Her role in the building of this company can't be overstated. It's framed just about perfectly by Larry in this tribute:

Deeply woven into the Access tapestry are the early efforts and sacrifices of Sherry Larsen. Sherry’s absolute commitment to build and nurture the company necessitated involvement in virtually every department and, in this process, she touched hundreds of lives.

While Sherry never considered herself a great entrepreneur, she was great at executing entrepreneurial ventures. Always at my right hand, she was my silent partner gladly working behind the scenes to make the magic happen. Sherry never wanted public praise but she reveled in the success of the company as a whole.

Dedication and loyalty were evidenced in Sherry’s enduring commitment to Access. In the early days, when Access was but a dream and we were out of cash, Sherry mortgaged her home to cover her wages and loaned money to keep the firm alive. This sacrifice came at a time when Sherry was a single mother with two teenage sons and no other source of income.

Sherry was our customer satisfaction advocate. Clients relied on her to deliver the promises Access made. Given that I’m an eternal optimist and would often naively over-promise, it was Sherry who would work daily miracles to develop the systems and services to stretch Access and fulfill my dreams.

At the very center of Access is a legacy of caring for our co-workers. Sherry’s greatest contribution goes well beyond the systems, services, business practices and values she exemplified. Sherry leaves a legacy of friendship, compassion and love that continues to bless hundreds of families. Her deep capacity to love and empathize has lifted those in need and provided a role model for numerous young mothers and fathers who have at one time been Access employees.

Sherry is a woman of grace and integrity. During our 28 years of business partnership, Sherry has been wise, slow to anger and a voice of reason. I have relied on Sherry, valuing her counsel and encouragement, deriving strength from her, and marveling at her resilience.

As Sherry now moves to the next stage of life and will retire from full-time management, her spirit of giving and dedication will continue in those she has mentored through a lifetime of service. It is her great legacy, and I will always value our friendship which has enriched my life.

Thanks for everything, Sherry. Now go enjoy some well-earned rest & relaxation!

Topics: News

Written by: Brandon Carter

Brandon is a former writer and marketer for Access Development. He's a frequent blogger on customer and employee engagement & loyalty, consumer trends, and branding. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter at @bscarter