Coworker Corner: Ed Andriusis

Coworker Corner: Ed Andriusis

In a world that is becoming increasingly digital, many may be surprised to learn that the direct mail department of Mercy Home is alive, well, and thriving! This becomes increasingly clear when speaking with Ed Andriusis, our associate director of direct marketing.

Ed is responsible for direct mail acquisition, which means that he finds new donors to give to Mercy Home. This is crucial for building a donor base that stays with us for a long time and continues supporting our kids. He also works on direct mail appeals.

“With both of those things, the key is continuously trying to improve them,” Ed said. “So testing new, different alternatives to what donors may respond to is a huge part of it, and it’s very important to make sure that all the details are worked out.”

Fortunately, Ed has a lot of experience in paying attention to the details. Ed has a degree in criminalistics (also known as forensic science), which is when chemistry is applied to crime scenes. He was drawn to it because of his love of puzzles and finding things (“I’m the finder in the family any time something’s missing,” he explained). Instead of working for the government, he went to work for a laboratory equipment company that sold their products through a catalogue rather than salespeople.

“That’s how I cut my teeth on the direct mail side and learned about direct mail at that company,” he said.

Ed began as a product manager, working at the order desk, and was quickly promoted because of his eye for detail in processing the orders he received. He moved to the product management department, becoming an expert on things like pH equipment, plastic ware, and water filtration.

“That was a fun job because with the pH equipment, our manufacturer was in Singapore, so I had to travel to Singapore quite a bit,” he said. “Singapore is a great country. If I had no ties to anything else, I’d move there.”

In no place that I’ve ever worked have I seen such camaraderie and everybody working toward the same goal.

With his background in direct mail and eye for important details, it’s no surprise that Ed is a great fit in his position at Mercy Home—it’s one he’s held for 15 years! He often relies on his background to help him here.

“[In our mailings], it’s very important to make sure that all the details are worked out, because a little [mistake] could cost us a lot of money, which goes back to my background in laboratory equipment …quality control is really my background,” he said.

Ed explained that he likes the always-changing atmosphere of direct mail and the ability to do new tests and try new things.

“You’re always finding something different, whether it’s cost savings or finding something new that increases the response [from donors],” he said. “Direct mail is the old way of doing things compared to the internet and social media, but it’s an amazing thing as to how changes are occurring there.”

A fun fact about Mercy Home’s direct mailings: sometimes they contain a million pieces in a single mailing! That means even a small increase in a response rate can make a difference in raising money for our kids. And this is at the heart of what Ed does at our Home: using his knowledge and expertise to make sure our young people get the support they need.

In fact, Ed views this job as kind of a full circle moment for him—his first job was at a Jesuit rectory when he was in high school. In addition to serving dinner and answering phones in the evening, he also stuffed appeal letters and addressed them. It’s really only appropriate that he ended up in the Mercy Home family, and he’s enjoyed being part of it!

“In no place that I’ve ever worked have I seen such camaraderie and everybody working toward the same goal,” he said.

He said that he experienced that dedication firsthand when he was at one of his first Mercy Home events and heard one of our young people share their story. When he saw a coworker’s eyes welling up with tears at hearing the story, he realized the level of commitment to the kids all of our coworkers have.

Ed also feels a connection with the mission and the work we do—it’s one that he shares.

“I have a big background in Boy Scouts,” he said. “I was a Boy Scout and a Boy Scout leader and went into the Lithuanian Boy Scouts. And within that, there’s a group called the Rovers … for kids who are 17 years old and older, and that’s when they’re really looking for direction in life.”

Ed first joined the group, then became a leader when his kids also got involved in the Rovers. He is proud to be part of an organization that helps give young people direction much like we do at our Home.

“Basically, the motto is service: your service to other people and what you can do to improve yourself in order to be of service,” he said. “I just feel like Mercy Home has those same values that I’ve always had.”

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