Saturday, July 31, 2010
SHUTTING DOWN THE PLANT
It has been my sad duty to shut down two different plants.
At Rockwell, we were told upfront that the Contract would be for just 5 years and we could not expect more than that, but of course, all of us believed that since "North American" had been there since 1950, it would be there forever.
My years at Rockwell were the happiest, most fulfilling years of my entire worklife and when I was chosen to be one of two Manufacturing Managers to remain while the company sought a new Contract, I was honored. When my boss, the best Manager that I had ever worked with, and for, told me that he was leaving and that I should get out as soon as I could, I should have listened. We completed the FIF ahead of schedule and then I returned to the Nacelles. After we completed the Nacelles, I was assigned to Logistics to wait for the announcement of the new Contract. When it was announced that Lockheed received the contract, I was heartbroken, but I was fortunate, because I was able to return to International Harvester.
Below is the last article I wrote as Publisher of the Farewell Issue of "Pass The Word":
"This article is dedicated to: Don Waddell, the late Bill Thompson, Robbie Robinson, Bill Wade, and Al Smith."
"One road diverged into two,
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference." - Robert Frost
"As the first and only woman Manufacturing Manager in the history of Rockwell International, NAA-Columbus, "I took the road less traveled by" in being a woman in a so-called "man's job" - but Rockwell and the Management Club "made all the difference" - Rockwell and the Club and especially the ones to whom this article is dedicated, gave me and many others opportunities that would never have been possible with other companies. Don Waddell, Bill Thompson, and Robbie Robinson gave me extraordinary opportunities in the Nacelle and FIF and Bill Wade and Al Smith gave me the opportunity to be a Manager; what I did with those opportunities was then my decision.
As a girl growing up on a farm in Central Ohio, I wanted to work at "North American" because of my fascination with aircraft and because my aunt had worked at Curtiss-Wright during World War II as one of the "Rosie the Riveters."
When Don Waddell hired me in 1982 as a Manufacturing Supervisor, I had already been the first woman Manufacturing Supervisor at two other corporations. At Rockwell, I expected to find, finally, other women in management positions. After a couple of days on the job, I asked Bill Thompson, "Where are the other women?" He laughed and said, "You're it!" I asked, incredulously, "What happened to Rosie the Riveter, wasn't she promoted?" Fortunately for me and many others, other women were promoted to supervisory positions.
Robbie Robinson inducted me into the Management Club by saying, 'You'll be glad to know there's a woman President." Although there was a lack of women in management positions, there were many women active in the Management Club. I immediately joined and soon got in contact with Helen Hartberger who was the first women president of Chapter 636. Helen's stewardship of the Club and her exemplary leadership were a measuring stick for all succeeding Presidents. Helen encouraged me to become a Booster. After being a Booster, Captain and Instructor, I became the Vice-President of Public Relations and Community Activities; I was then elected a Trustee. The Management Club has helped me both professionally and personally.
Whatever road we all decide to travel in the future, Rockwell and the Management Club have helped to pave the way."