Mary Hardeman is retiring after nearly 21 years with PEC.

When Mary Hardeman began her career at Pella Engraving Company almost 21 years ago, the company was still at its original location in downtown Pella, next to the Town Crier print shop it had once supplied printing plates for. Mary handled bookkeeping, customer service, and quoting. She shared her job with another employee. In addition to handling the accounts, they helped customers who walked in to order from the company’s lineup of personalized gifts.

It was not long before PEC outgrew its location and needed more space for its growing plaque manufacturing business. The company relocated to a facility in Pella’s industrial park, and Mary transitioned to full-time and focused on bookkeeping. “I know some people think it’s crazy to enjoy bookkeeping, but I think it’s fun to make things balance out,” she said.

After high school, Mary attended Indian Hills College. Just before taking the job with PEC, Mary took a computer class, but beyond that, she was tenacious about teaching herself any new software programs needed to do her job well.

On March 21, PEC celebrated Mary’s dedication with a special retirement lunch at Monarch’s in Pella. Mary’s husband, Bernie, also joined the PEC team at the celebration. The lunch was not a surprise … but the laptop was!

“One reason Mary is leaving the PEC family right now is due to a needed foot surgery, and the entire Pella Engraving team has been sending positive thought and prayers her way,” said Co-Owner Jeff Vroom. “We wish Mary and her family all the best!”

Although her retirement may be coming a bit earlier than planned, Mary is focused on the positives. “I am looking forward to spending more time with my family. It’s the great people here I will miss the most, and I also have enjoyed getting to know our customers.”

Mary will have something fun to play with as she recovers. At a March 21 retirement celebration, the PEC team presented her with a new laptop!