Friday, August 7, 2009

Latest News from Mercury Marine

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  1. Back in the 1960s when I was in Jr. High School on the east coast I built an 8’ three point hydroplane in wood shop class. I started with the recommended 10 hp motor (borrowed) and quickly became bored with it and worked clamming that summer and purchased an old used Mercury 18 hp (I believe it had the green and metal cases and was prior to the jet prop exhaust and electric start the newer 20 hp Black Mercs) and slightly over powered it. I was hooked. I wrote a letter to Kiekhaefer-Mercury and asked what it took to become a test driver and got a letter back explaining the job opportunities in the engineering field....

    As I grew older my interests grew beyond boats to include cars and motorcycles. By the time I graduated from high school I was headed, by a school guidance counselor, to Oklahoma State University where I majored in business. Little did I expect to stay in Oklahoma at that time. I didn't even know why I was here. I went back east to work in New Jersey my first two summers and realized that it was the people in Oklahoma that I really enjoyed and by my sophomore year I was beginning to feel that Oklahoma was my new home.

    About the time I was getting into local business in Stillwater, Mercury Marine announced that MerCruiser was coming to Stillwater. This was like an old friend coming to town. I never was an OMC fan - they didn't win races. As Stillwater’s largest industrial employer I have gotten to know many workers and their families over the years. The house across the street from me has been continuously owned by three different MerCruiser families since it was built in 1984 (two engineers and a marketing guy) and my wife and I have enjoyed their company and would often visit in the street in the spring and summer as we worked in our yards.

    I once again felt a certain pride in 1989-1990 when I could tell my “car guy” friends back east that the new LT5 engine for the ZR1 Corvette was being built in my town. I was between my first and second Corvettes (raising children) at that time.

    While none of the boats I’ve owned has had a sterndrive, I’ve always been glad to let friends and family know that all of the black ones came from Stillwater, Oklahoma.

    I have appreciated the way the MerCruiser employees seem to enjoy their jobs with MerCruiser and are proud of the work that they are doing.

    MerCruiser has also been an outstanding corporate citizen, supporting the community in so many ways.

    MerCruiser and it’s people have been good for Stillwater and I personally have enjoyed the relationship for almost half of my life. It pains me to think that we may lose this community partner.

    I’ve always felt that MerCruiser and Stillwater were a good match, especially considering the attitude of the workforce, cooperative training available at Meridian Tech and Oklahoma State University. I certainly hope that it can be allowed to continue through these tough times and into better times.

  2. What a wonderful letter. You know, I'm a little disappointed that more people haven't written. It seems that every time I get on the Mercury Marine website one community/government leader or another has written a letter that's posted on the site. The only posts on there from Stillwater are News Press articles. The TV station there even has an interview with Mark Schwabero, it would be nice if our city and state showed the same focus.