Through all the years and all the changes around Breiner, there has been one constant: Jan Parker.
Jan has been a part of the Breiner family for 42 years. Yeah, let that sink in for a minute!
She joined us in 1975 on shop floor working in the clicker department cutting gaskets. Within eight years Jan had become the group leader and started taking on more administrative duties.
30+ years later, Jan is still a constant and beloved presence. Today she works with payroll, human resources, accounts payable, accounts receivable and proofs work orders. If she has extra time, she even still makes it out to the shop to help out and run machines.
Not bad for a woman nearing 68.
“My family calls Breiner my ‘Home Away from Home’,” Jan said. “They even tease me that I have a ‘Gravy Job’! It is such a relaxed environment and I love my schedule.”
But how is a relaxed environment, favorable schedule and work you enjoy enough to keep a person from exploring options or trying something different?
For Jan, there is no place she said she would rather be. Over the years, the bond she has formed with Breiner and the people that work here, she said, are stronger than any other force.
“Breiner is like my family,” she said. “They’ve stuck with me through thick and thin.”
The thin for Jan was a 5-year period where Jan underwent several serious health issues including an open lung biopsy and mastectomy, all during a pregnancy.
“They were helpful, accommodating and understanding during hard times. They would all come visit me in the hospital to cheer me up and made sure I had everything I needed. My bosses and people I’ve worked with over the years aren’t bosses and coworkers – they’re friends.”
Besides, over the course of 42 years, the changes in technology, machinery and the way Breiner does business has been exciting enough!
Jan says the machines used today are far, far beyond anything she worked with when she started in the 70’s. New machines are far faster and efficient.
Paperwork has also come a long way, very much for the better, Jan said.
“When I started doing accounting everything was hand-written on pen and paper,” she said. “You would walk through the office with 10-15-foot-long rolls of invoices and every calculation you had to do yourself. Now everything is done on a computer. I like that much better!”
Jan was born in Illinois, not too far from St. Louis. She may not be a Hoosier by birth, but you’d never know it. Her family moved to Indianapolis in 1970 after her father, a truck driver, was transferred.
She married her husband in 1979 and went on to have three children, two boys and a girl, and will soon welcome her first grandchild into the world. All three children have recently moved into new homes, so when she’s not at Breiner she is probably helping them with renovations.
Jan is also without a doubt the biggest Indiana Fever you will ever meet. For the past several years, she has been a season ticket holder, attending every home game and even making road trips to watch the ladies play in Chicago.
Her sister is her companion at every game, whom she converted to a fellow fanatic following the Fever’s championship run in 2012.
As for Jan at Breiner, don’t count on her retiring anytime soon, she said. She’s having way too much fun.
There are plenty of other amazing people doing extraordinary things here at Breiner, and we would love for you to meet them all. If you have a special die-cutting project that requires a special touch, give Breiner a call!