Joyce BarnesContracts Manager MD&A Bearings, Seals, & Hydraulics Division
Continuing our 40th Anniversary Celebration, we asked some of our most tenured employees about their experience working for MD&A. Joyce Barnes, Contracts Manager of the MD&A Bearings, Seals, & Hydraulics Division shares her thoughts on MD&A.
Why did you choose to work for MD&A and why have you continued to choose to work at MD&A?
I chose to join RPM (now Bearings, Seals, & Hydraulics Division) as an office manager, a position that would offer a wide variety of duties. At the time there was no indication it would become a long-term partnership. The open position offered some flexibility on schedule, and I had two young children. Of course, the children grew, and so did the company under the hard work and leadership of Steve DeCrow. Along with the expanding operation, my responsibilities grew rapidly; and the more tasks I took on, the more Steve offered. I took great pride in our growing organization and my personal challenge of supporting the needs of the operation.
What was the organization like when you joined?
RPM (now MD&A Bearings, Seals, & Hydraulics Division) was a very small operation, with a half dozen employees. We were renting space with another local machine shop in Willoughby, Ohio. We quickly outgrew this space and moved to a purpose-built building. In a couple more years, we doubled the size of the building, equipment, and employees. Our growth year over year was impressive, and I very much enjoyed playing a key part in our development.
Do you have any favorite memories from your time with MD&A thus far?
I would have to say a memory that stands out was our first move into a new building. It seemed we had more room than we could ever use, then, of course, we quickly outgrew it.
How has your job changed over the years?
My job evolved significantly over the years. I started out as a small one-person army. As we grew, we added staff for sales, engineering & administration. My responsibilities transitioned from administrative tasks to managing customers, pricing & schedules, then eventually to the operation itself. More recently, I transitioned to mentoring and oversight.
How have you seen MD&A change in the time that you’ve worked here?
Over the years, our operation underwent a multitude of changes, from computers, pagers, and cell phones, then to staff meetings via the internet. We went from typing carbon copies to developing databases to establishing an electronic file system and an ERP system. Our shop transitioned from hand-drawn sketches and manual machining to CAD and CNC operations. We never stood still, always looking for the next and best way to get things done and done well.
What is the best part of your job or tasks?
The best part of my job in any of my various positions was always the relationships. We always put quality and customer first, and as a direct result, I enjoyed many true friendships with customers, vendors, and fellow employees over the years.