Customer Service and Inside Sales Legends Retire
Honoring Two Longtime Portland Colleagues for Their Impactful Careers and Combined Almost 60 Years’ of Service
19 July 2022
Lora McCabe and Dee Dee Weber will retire 27 July. At the time of retirement, and as shown with her #1 sash, Dee Dee is the most senior Weir Portland employee.
Known for their snappy humor, tough-as-nails attitude and unwavering dedication to their colleagues and customers, Customer Account Representatives Dee Dee Weber and Lora McCabe leave us with unforgettable memories and important life lessons as they prepare for retirement on 27 July 2022.
Making Their Mark in the Early Days
It was September 1990. Lora chuckles softly and shakes her head as she recalls her first role at Weir ESCO. She started as an administrative assistant in what she described as a “chaotic environment” at the legacy ESCO hydraulic hammer plant and satellite office out of San Diego, California.
“I was right there on the machine shop floor,” said Lora. “I remember being in awe of all the manufacturing and the machines. I’m not shy or easily intimidated, so I stayed right where I was for the first three years of my ESCO career.”
Lora worked to create an environment where she was included in decisions and processes. She quickly became a respected team contributor.
Dee Dee also experienced significant changes as she got her start at Weir ESCO. In her first role, she was making $2.88 an hour as a typist and clerk for the purchasing department. On her first day at 19-years-old, the professional environment of the office was a shock, and learning to make copies on carbon paper proved just as challenging. However, those who know her would say there is little she could not overcome.
Few women worked in manufacturing at that time, including Weir ESCO. “The biggest hurdle for me back then was gaining the respect and buy-in that was needed to run the day-to-day events,” said Dee Dee.
Insights from Dee Dee
Years of service: 45; Started in 1976
First Job: Typist and clerk for the purchasing department
Current Job: Customer account representative, OEM (inside sales) – Portland, Oregon
Greatest Strength: Commitment and responsibility, while setting an example for others.
Picture: Dee Dee’s personnel announcement, Ladle 1977
But, determined and courageous, Dee Dee eventually served as the team leader for the paint shed and found herself as the manager of 17 people. She says she faced the challenge as an opportunity and after successfully completing that assignment, she decided to pursue different roles in production control, human resources, and paint and packaging.
Why Weir ESCO
After about three years of working for Weir ESCO, Lora left for a short time. She became a specialist in crushing, prioritized building customer relationships and managed high-profile accounts. Looking to return to Weir ESCO and apply her crushing knowledge, Lora came back in 2010. This time, she brought the largest customer account with her.
“I have worked for a few different companies and worked hard to build my career in a bunch of different roles,” said Lora. “But for me, with Weir ESCO, it is about the people. The people I work with are amazing. It just called me back.”
Dee Dee agrees. Feeling like you belong with a supportive Weir ESCO family is a large part of the company’s culture. Dee Dee’s ESCO lineage is strong in that she is a third-generation employee. By four years old, Dee Dee was attending her first family picnic with her father, Tom, who worked at Weir ESCO for 43 years. Her grandfather, Francis, worked in maintenance for 45 years. Dee Dee says Francis was so loyal to the company that he claimed he “never missed a day of work.”
Dee Dee and Lora’s Keys to Success
For more than 45 years, Dee Dee is known for her go-getter attitude and dedication. She retires as the customer account representative for Weir ESCO’s OEM accounts in North America. When it comes to her customers, Dee Dee offers up an important lesson for us all: Support your customers, and go above and beyond to build strong relationships with others.
“We are such a different company now than when I started,” she adds. “And that is a great thing because when the company grows, you grow. Change can be good. There will be a lot of it, so be open.”
Lora has also experienced change during her time here, but adds that change can lead to personal growth. When asked what words of wisdom she would leave behind, Lora responded in an encouraging, but firm, tone: “Be patient, and do not try to change the world in one week—but be persistent. Do not stop trying.”
Leading with Enthusiasm and Championing Camaraderie
Lora and Dee Dee have made an impression on colleagues worldwide. Their manager, Jeremy Fewell, said that despite having only worked with the pair for the last few years, they made an unforgettable impact.
“They have been through many changes in the industry, and they have survived because they are really strong,” said Jeremy. “They are always opinionated, but I have learned that they are usually always right!”
Lora and Dee Dee are equally passionate about their teammates as they are about their customers. During the highs and lows, both tried to keep things light-hearted and fun. They dealt out their dry sense of humor and found ways to apply their go-getter work ethic to build team engagement, hosting department potlucks on nearly every holiday and never forgetting to decorate the office.
In retirement, the two intend to take some well-deserved time to relax and spend time with their loved ones. Lora is excited to work in her garden and take on baking and crafting. Dee Dee is looking forward to volunteering, traveling with her daughter and visiting her family’s cabin in the Puget Sound.
Like so many others through the decades, Jeremy says he considers Dee Dee and Lora dear friends and colleagues. “It will be a lot quieter when they leave. I will miss the dynamic duo’s energy,” he said.
Please join us in thanking Dee Dee and Lora for their combined 59 years’ of service and many contributions to Weir ESCO. We wish them all the best in retirement.
Insights from Lora
Years of continuous service: 14; Started in 1990-93, and served 2008-2022
First Job: Administrative assistant at the legacy ESCO San Diego satellite office and hydraulic hammer Plant.
Current Job: Customer account representative, Crushing (inside sales) – Portland, Oregon
Greatest Strength: Her ability to get along with everyone, build camaraderie with her customers and maintain a sense of humor through it all.
Picture: Lora’s personnel announcement, Ladle 1992