Longest Serving Employee in Dredging Industry Retires

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Left To Right - Bill Sorenson of the Maryland Department of Commerce (L) together with Richard Escalante of the city of Baltimore (R) Present certificate to Ellicott’s Myrna LaBarre

Posted June 10, 2019

Last week Myrna LaBarre retired from Ellicott Dredges after a career there of over 58 years.

DredgeWire believes that she can rightfully claim to have the longest tenure of anyone anywhere in the industry.

For the last decade plus she served as Corporate Secretary, having served in many other positions with the company over the years.

At her retirement the State of Maryland awarded her a certificate reading in part,

“Be it known that the State of Maryland appreciates Myrna LaBarre’s outstanding service to Ellicott and Baltimore over 58 years of service.”

In a very memorable moment, then-President Barack Obama visited Ellicott six years ago and featured her in major policy speech on international trade saying:

“(There is) a woman here, Myrna LaBarre.....who has been at Ellicott for more than 50 years. Now, that means she started when there were no child labor laws, because it was clearly illegal. (Laughter.) She was about four or five, and they started putting her to work, put a broom in her hand. But when somebody asked Myrna what lessons she learned after 50 years working at the same company, she said, “Be honest, be helpful, accept your mistakes and improve upon them, be good to people, keep a good sense of humor, have the best work ethic possible, and handle the good times and get over the bad.” That’s a pretty good recipe for success right there. That’s who we are. That’s who we are. (Applause.) Thank you, Myrna.

I mean, that pretty much sums up everything. That’s who we like to understand America to be, who we are as Americans. We’re honest and helpful. We work hard. We’re good to others. We handle the good times, and we get over the bad times. If we keep that in mind, if we just all keep Myrna’s advice in mind, keep plugging away, keep fighting, we’ll build an even better America than we’ve got right now.”

President Barack Obama, speech at Ellicott Dredges, Baltimore, May 17, 2013.

Hard to have a better summary than that!