Meet the Belco Industries Team: Larry Mercer
Hi, I’m Larry Mercer
In Belco Manufacturing tradition, I started packing Oven Panels with the other “low man on the totem-pole “Nick Kohn”, on October 22, 1979. Since that 1st day, I have been given the opportunity to do many different things and almost all were things I had never done before so it was a ”learn as you go experience”.
A lot of my “shop” time was spent on the road doing repair, modifications and installation work. When with a Belco-crew, we got done what had to be done. When out alone for six-seven weeks, it was always very busy at the job site, but you miss your family, home-cooked meals, someone to talk to, etc., so when we added the Handling Department and needed a group leader, I jumped at the chance to stay closer to home.
In November 1990, I went into Engineering for about five years until a position doing Spare Parts came my way. Talking to customers, quoting and processing orders sounded more exciting than making, stretching and dimensioning lines!
Parts Sales was short lived when the Ionia Plant wanted to add a 2nd foreman to give Ray Stewart some needed help and this again, was short lived when our then Purchasing Agent left and Sean Alkire moved from Parts Sales into purchasing, so back to Inside Sales I went. Doing sales can be very fast paced at times. Between a very excited, broke-down customer and the shop being very, very busy, but the shop has always found a way to do what it had to help a customer in need.
A few months ago Chris Kohn joined Belco and this has really helped us to respond faster to our customers with an added bonus for me, in that the 60 to 65 hour weeks are now gone, allowing me to spend my weekends at home. Almost all of my time away from work is spent with my wife, Sandy and I, along with our kids; JR, Shelly and her husband Matt, Eric (attending Ferris), Kate (living home and going to GRCC) and our four grandchildren; Nevaeh, Westin, Faithlyn and Amelia.
Other than talking a lot, I really don’t have any hobbies but here are a few things I enjoy doing (in no particular order) when away from work, boating/pontoon rides around Big Pine Island Lake, boat-cushion floating in the lake on hot summer days, deer hunting (have not missed an opening day with Dad for 42 straight years), any projects that needs to be addressed at home or around one of the kids homes, camping/sleeping under the stars, nature (waterfalls are simple but amazing and fun to try and find in the U.P.), backyard bonfires with family and friends – Oh wait… did I forget to mention, that I make the best Hobo-Pies in the world and that I don’t know when to shut-up!!!