Leaders of the Pack

FARRELL BURK
Owner, Debby Burk Optical

Going into the family business can be a fraught career decision for some, but Farrell Burk had no qualms about it. She watched the company her parents, which sells reading glasses in every conceivable style, grow from a street-fair stall to a thriving e-commerce site. About ten years ago, Burk took on ownership of Debby Burk Optical (named after her mom) and still operates the business out of the family home in Long Island. In receiving about 2,300 orders a month and supervising a 10-person workforce, Burk stays on top of the day-to-day tasks with encouragement from her family. "My parents were and still are my mentors. They taught me the value of hard work and focus, and they manage to work five days a week despite being in their early 80s," Burk says. She is especially proud that her mom and dad have embraced Internet sales and maintained the same exceptional service that the street fair customers appreciated. "Even though there is a perception that old people and technology do not mix, our business keeps growing every year," Burk told Newsday in 2011.
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