TROY, Mich. — Meritor recently held a celebration in honor of its longest serving employee: Loraine Simler.
Simler, a sales representative in Meritor’s Aftermarket and Trailer division, is retiring this month after 65 years with the company.
Simler blazed a trail for many women to follow at Meritor. She has been witness to and participated in many firsts, including becoming Meritor’s first female manager in 1965 when she was named a buying manager. She joined the company in 1946 when it was Timken Axle as a file clerk/typist. In 1953, she became a secretary in the purchasing department. It was a few years after that she became part of the company’s history.
“I was the first person to use an electric typewriter at this company,” Simler said. “It made me a lot faster when it came to typing invoices. I also used the first computer here.”
After several years as a buying manager, she moved into the aftermarket parts division in 1973. Since then she has held positions of increasing responsibility within Meritor before she settled into her current job in 1983 as a sales representative, Aftermarket. In 2006, she was rewarded for her many years of service with her own parking spot at the Troy campus.
On Dec. 14, 2011, the company honored Simler with “Loraine Simler Day.”
She rode to work at the company’s headquarters in a limousine.
She was met by Chip McClure, chairman, CEO and president, as well as other members of senior management, who escorted her down a red carpet in to the building that was draped with a banner expressing thanks for her contributions to Meritor.
“Spending 65 years at the same company is something so rarely achieved these days,” said Joe Mejaly, president, Aftermarket and Trailer, Meritor. “It’s important to acknowledge events like this and we’re excited to recognize Loraine’s time at Meritor.”
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Hundreds of employees and friends gathered in the company’s auditorium to celebrate Simler’s career, featuring a video with more than a dozen current and former colleagues relating stories about Simler as well as gifts showing the company’s appreciation for her years of service.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here,” she said. “I consider everyone here part of my family.”
Simler is not alone in her dedication to her job and the company.
Gilbert Wilson, a hi-lift driver at Meritor’s Newark, Ohio, facility, celebrated his 80th birthday in October. He hired on with the Newark facility on March 31, 1952. He has 59 years of service with the company and has let it be known that he has “an eye on Loraine’s record.”
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