Over the course of 41 years, Ann Yoder has seen many things change at ADEC Industries, but she’s also had the opportunity to watch countless people succeed and enjoy a truly positive workspace.

“It’s a good place to work,” Ann says of ADEC Industries. “I think part of it is you get to work with clients as co-workers. They’re just so truthful. They speak their minds.”

Ann came to ADEC by way of the Rehab Center in 1974, prior to the organizational merger that created the united agency known today as ADEC. She had just finished secretarial school and was in search of a good job.

She was hired as the client payroll manager for the workshop. Times were different in 1974. She kept track of payroll for the 30 to 40 clients working at the workshop by collecting little slips of paper each day from floor supervisors with counts for each client. She would look up each job on the floor to see what it paid and then add the week’s worth of slips before typing out the check and sliding it across her desk for the director to sign in their shared office.

Working in the main office gave Ann a chance to observe other positions in the workshop and consider what she would like to do. When a floor supervisor, now called a group leader, retired, Ann thought, “I want to do that.”

While Ann was a group leader, the workshop moved to ADEC Industries’ present location. Dometic rented out the front part of the building, and the workshop was set up in the back with plenty of space for the staff and clients to spread out.

“We started getting more jobs, we were busier and growing, adding more clients,” Ann remembers. “It became apparent we needed someone just to process orders, so they promoted me to shipping and receiving.”

In this role, Ann drove a tow motor to deliver product to group leaders. She loaded, unloaded and typed invoices.

“I did it all myself,” Ann laughs. “Times were different then. I ran the whole shipping and receiving department myself.”

ADEC Industries continued to grow, and production needs became more demanding. A production assistant role was created to take orders and manage group leaders. All of the men working at ADEC Industries applied for the promotion. Ann was the only woman to toss her hat in the ring.

Karl Kingsley, who managed ADEC Industries for many years, set up a competitive process for the job in which he would create a job order and have everyone write out the step-by-step process to accomplish it.

“I was the only one out of everyone, including Karl, who remembered one of the steps!” Ann shares. She got the promotion.

This position eventually evolved into the Production Manager role Ann holds today.

“It was very fun times,” Ann remembers. “We played tricks on each other all the time . . . We’ve never had a lot of turnover in this department. Everyone stays. It’s a good place to work.”

Part of what made Ann’s time at ADEC Industries so happy was working with truly great customers. She remembers a favorite customer who handled an awkward situation seamlessly and built a solid working relationship with ADEC Industries.

Ann had sent over a big order of parts packaged in the shipping boxes ADEC Industries uses called “gaylords.” As the afternoon progressed, the staff discovered they could not find the gaylord containing the trash. Ann realized she must have included it in the order.

When she called over to say she had accidentally shipped ADEC Industries’ trash, the guy said, “That’s nothing. We received it in.”

“We have many good customers who understand our mission and support us,” Ann says of the companies she’s worked with while at ADEC Industries. “If we make a mistake, they say, ‘Hey, we do, too.’ We do a really good job, but they work with us because they understand.”

Article by Whitney Craig / Communications Specialist

Photo by Rod Tackett / Communications Specialist