Happy Thanksgiving

canstockphoto18957431This year as we celebrate Thanksgiving, the time has come to consider not only the traditional things for which we are grateful but to think beyond the norm and be thankful other things we might take for granted. That being said, I would be remiss if I did not say I am grateful for my loving husband and family, my friends, my warm home, my church, and food on my table. I am especially thankful for my niece and nephews who have been like my own children their entire lives. I am grateful they have grown up to be good citizens and wonderful parents to their own children.

What else can I add to this list? I am grateful I am a United States (U.S.) citizen and not a poor refugee from Guatemala who is walking hundreds of miles without knowing the country they are heading toward is unwilling to accept them.

I am thankful for the U.S. healthcare systems (yes, really.) Even though we have lots of room for improvement in service to the needy, I appreciate the years of study our doctors and medical professionals go through to give us the best care in the world. I am truly indebted to my orthopedic surgeon and my husband who had to take over household chores and drive me around while I healed.

I am appreciative that Pope Francis has acknowledged the practice of moving pedophile priests from parish-to-parish and stopped the practice around the world and I am especially grateful to the Grand Jury in Pennsylvania, my home state, for having the courage to break from the powerful church and bring visibility to this severe problem.

I am pleased that my Alma Mater, Penn State is back on track to be a fine educational institution with a limited focus on sports. I am glad for the Internet without which I would not be communicating with you. How about smartphones? I well remember the party lines and phones on the wall. I remember the beeper I carried when I was on the road for my first job. Sometimes I would travel one hundred miles to a pay phone to answer a page. How about color TV and streaming video, or social media to keep in touch with friends and families? Airplanes allow us to live far apart from family but be there in a few hours if needed.

I am happy there is an organization called CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) that helps children who have been removed from their parents for abuse, drug use or general neglect and I am thrilled to have been sworn into this organization last week as a volunteer.

I am truly grateful for the things we take for granted but were not available to my parents as they grew up – indoor plumbing, soft toilet paper, fast food meals, frozen foods, fresh vegetables that I don’t have to grow myself and so much more.

Most of all, I am thankful for all of my readers and wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! I would love to hear about the things you are thankful for this year!


Mary Kuniski is a catalyst for business and individual change. Throughout her career, she has consistently led corporate businesses into the future, often achieving process improvement and change that others could not. Mary’s enthusiastic attitude and tenacious ability to keep moving forward is why she identifies with this quote from Dale Carnegie: “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” Passionate about problem resolution and committed to coaching and leading others, Mary is driven to ensure that everything she does provides lasting value. At a young age, her leadership and public speaking skills were recognized and nurtured through her ten-year participation in 4-H. She has also fostered change for businesses such as Parkinson Voice Project, where she directed the implementation of their website and online learning management system, and Overhead Door Corporation, where she created and launched a successful core data process improvement strategy. During her tenure with The Michaels Companies, Mary held five Director positions and three Vice President roles, and pioneered the company’s expansion into Quebec. Her efforts to lead the transformation of over 40,000 craft items to three languages resulted in Michaels becoming the first international retailer to acquire language certification from Quebec on the initial attempt. This meant Michaels successfully adherred to strict French-language laws. Mary has over 20 years in executive leadership in the retail industry and for 10 years led supply chain shipment improvement and savings and reduction efforts at Michaels. Mary is a Dale Carnegie graduate, certified trainer, and consultant for Dale Carnegie DFW's Executive Leadership training. She holds an MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix and a degree in Human Development, Clothing Studies from Pennsylvania State University.

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