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Celebrating 30 Years at MEC

MEC Outdoors team member, Nicki, recently celebrated 30 years at MEC.  She shared her journey during those years and how it has led her to ultimately learn complex wiring systems for the MEC Clay Target machine line of products.  Her dedication to the company and our products is a direct reflection of the quality and craftsmanship presented to our customers when they invest in a MEC Clay Target Machine.  

Nicki's Career Journey

Shortly after high school Nicki began her journey at MEC by working part time through a temp agency.  Full time MEC jobs back then were hard to come by because you had to know someone employed at MEC to get hired.  Fortunately for Nicki, her neighbor worked at MEC and gladly put in a good word for her.  She remembers fondly getting the call from MEC.  Her daughter was only 4 yrs. old at the time and answered the phone.  Nicki told her to tell the caller, (not knowing it was MEC) that she would call them back.  Her smart little girl said, “Momma, this phone call is important!”

It was important, and that is where her MEC journey began. Nicki started full time work as an assembler putting together component parts for HP computers and printers, which was one of MEC’s largest customers at the time.  Through the years, as other new customer assembly projects came in, Nicki, eagerly accepted learning new skills along the way.  This taught her how to refine her assembly skills and look for the most logical and effective processes for assembly.  Because of her ambition and willingness to learn new skills, she was promoted to a line leader.  

 In 2013, when MEC acquired APEX traps and started building clay target machines, Nicki was excited to take on a new challenge!  She focused on learning about all the parts needed to build the machines, created and documented bill of materials for each model, while learning how to assemble the complex electrical components for the clay target machines.  In those early days, it was just Nicki and another coworker creating part numbers in the system, building the machines, often working 6 days a week.

The wobble clay target machine, to this day, is still the most complex electrical machine we make. However, Nicki does not look at it that way.  She processes it in simple terms and thinks of the wiring as a pattern, following it in a sequence. This logic has set the standard for how it is made today.  

Nicki continues to assemble the electrical components for the MEC Clay target machines but can often be seen assisting with assembling the MEC Automates because of her extensive knowledge for wiring and assembling. 

As she looks to the future, her plans are to stay at MEC and continue to increase her knowledge.  Her daughter has grown up and blessed her with two grandsons, 5 and 10 years of age.  She enjoys spending as much time with them as possible. When she thinks about retirement, her hopes are to have the opportunity to travel more. Luckily for MEC, she is going to hold off on retirement for a while longer. Congratulations, Nicki, on your 30 years at MEC!  We are fortunate to have you on our team!

L to R: Justin Schmidt -MEC Outdoors Supervisor; Shawn Wozniak -MEC Outdoors Manager; Nicki Luehring, and Robert Kamphuis -MEC Chairman, President & CEO.


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