Student Traditions LLC, representing Herff Jones Yearbooks, is a mother and daughter team made up of Maureen and Melissa. In 1992, when Melissa was a mere toddler, her mother Maureen was embarking on her HJ sales representative career in a small, northern Illinois territory. Here’s their story:
Maureen grew up with a darkroom in her basement and gained her love for photography from her father. Having the only key to the high school darkroom, she diligently worked on yearbook, and after college, Maureen worked part-time in a small print shop, creating newsletters with Adobe PageMaker. It was during this time that she met a customer who seemed to enjoy her job as a HJ yearbook rep more than anyone she had ever met. As Maureen considered returning to work full time, she called the HJ rep and learned that there was an open territory in the Chicagoland area. That one simple phone call began Maureen’s journey into the yearbook world, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Growing up, daughter Melissa does not remember a day without yearbooks in the house and the active darkroom in the basement. She never considered it a chore to help her mother with the mountains of yearbooks and such and always remembers the tasks being fun. However, she never dreamed of a career in yearbook for herself, and after finishing college, she began her professional life in sales and marketing in both Chicago and Philadelphia. Melissa loved her job and excelled in all aspects, but something was missing—a passion for the product she represented.
This lack of passion led the mother-daughter duo to explore the idea of turning Maureen’s yearbook business into a family business. The two became excited about creating a space for them to unite their creative minds and business pursuits so that they could present modern concepts to a time-honored tradition. They were witnessing their lifelong passion for preserving memories everywhere around them.
Melissa’s mission is to help her mom transform a career into a family business with a shared vision. In 2016, Maureen and Melissa created Student Traditions LLC, and Maureen was thrilled with the idea of working with her daughter. They named the business “Student Traditions” because they are both dedicated to focusing on the purpose of a yearbook—to preserve memories and history in their schools.
Nothing can compare to the pleasure and pride they receive from hearing ongoing compliments from their happy customers. Maureen and Melissa love what they do and look forward to every day, and by creating Student Traditions LLC, they have no doubts that joining forces in a family business was the right thing to do.
Additionally, their team would not be complete without Debbie Thomas at the plant. With over 20 years of experience in Customer Service, Debbie is a true professional, and she treats every school with a personal touch.
It is the hope of Maureen, Melissa, and Debbie that everyone with whom they work—advisers, students and administrators—will feel part of their team. Ultimately, their team goal is to preserve the traditions that students work so passionately to build in their schools, and they humbly thank each school that allows them to participate in the yearbook process—a timeless student tradition.
Melissa & Maureen Olofsson, Local Representatives 630.660.3773 firstname.lastname@example.org
Debbie Thomas, Customer Service 800.255.6287 email@example.com
Tech Support 677.362.7750
Order your yearbook yearbookordercenter.com
Beyond Melissa, Debbie and Maureen, our Chicagoland Herff Jones Yearbook team has a wide range of talents. Jamie Silver is a professional photographer and took most of the photos on this website and shares his knowledge of photography with us. Joelle Sexton, CJE and Betty Samples, CJE are both former Yearbook Advisers who you will see teaching at workshops and camp and guide us in the latest journalism trends.