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WSDG: In Appreciation of Nancy Flannery

Walters-Storyk Design Group founders Beth Walters and John Storyk pay tribute to their friend, longtime partner and CFO, Nancy Flannery.

Nancy Flannery (November 4, 1959 – March 28, 2023)
Nancy Flannery (November 4, 1959 – March 28, 2023)

One morning over 30 years ago, we were sitting in the newly created office we’d opened in upstate New Paltz, N.Y., when a slim, dark-haired and extremely confident young woman walked in and announced that she was available to work for us.

Her name was Nancy Flannery, and her previous employment history was as assistant to Sally Grossman, wife of famed music industry talent manager (and Woodstock, N.Y., entrepreneur) Albert Grossman, for whom John (Storyk) had designed a local recording studio, performance venue, home and office expansions and related establishments. Sally had suggested that Nancy talk to us about “a more challenging position.”

We weren’t all that busy at the time, but Nancy agreed to come onboard as our bookkeeper. In time, as our business (and staff) continued to expand, Nancy’s amazing capacity for grasping, organizing and ameliorating our increasingly complex business issues made her an indispensable member of our team. She was our lynchpin, the glue that kept all of WSDG’s disparate projects and staff in order. She was, in a sense, the very soul of our operation.

As the years passed, we grew from a local Highland/Woodstock/Kingston operation into a global business, with offices in Switzerland, Germany, Latin America, China, Saudi Arabia, and other far-off lands. We also shifted WSDG’s organizational management from two principals to a more realistic “corporate democracy.” Long-term associates were named Partners and awarded formal titles. Nancy Flannery became Partner/CFO.

She was a Force of Nature. Her increasing financial management expertise, her extraordinary memory, and her amazing people skills made her both invaluable and indispensable. Nancy was also our Den Mother. She’d invite new (and occasionally homesick) young interns to home-cooked family dinners with her husband (and former high school sweetheart), Mike, and daughters Clara, Marisa and Ainsley. Nancy loved dogs, music, good food and life in general. She had boundless energy, but she did not suffer fools gladly.

Tragically, on a Tuesday morning, March 28, 2023, Nancy Flannery died of a heart attack. Her passing was totally unexpected and remains incomprehensible. Our lives and our world were greatly diminished by her passing. She will be terribly missed, but never forgotten.