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Kathy Parmeter Credits Meijer Work-Life Balance for Keeping her Working 50 Years
Kathy Parmeter celebrates 50 years at Meijer at a special service recognition celebration.

As Kathy Parmeter celebrates a half-century at Meijer, she has no immediate plans to retire. She credits her longevity to an ever-evolving career that has offered her a work-life balance that has been a good fit for her family.

“One of the most important things for me is that my job lets me enjoy a good work-life balance,” said Kathy, a Meijer Vendor Management Analyst. “By doing so, I find that I retain the energy and passion I need to perform to a high standard at work. I work with a wonderful team of talented people. Everyone on the team shares the same vision and is dedicated to the mission.”

She also credits her retired husband, Loren, for providing the support at home that makes her feel like she’s semi-retired.

“I have the best of both worlds right now because Loren does the laundry, cooks and cleans,” she said. “Most of the time, he will bring me breakfast, and then we work out during lunch or go for a walk.”

Kathy was in high school when she first joined our Meijer team on Nov. 24, 1972, at the store in Jenison, Mich. Because she wasn’t old enough to work on the store floor, her first job was at the store’s snack bar.

After graduating from Jenison High School, she shifted into a corporate position in the receiving office of one of our distribution centers in Walker, Mich. In those days, we were still a relatively small company with only 24 stores. From there, she was promoted to assistant in the meat and produce buying office, and then was recruited to be part of the initial staff that launched our helpline. For the past 25 years, she’s worked as an analyst on our Vendor Management Team.

She remembers our co-founder, Fred Meijer, dropping by the office “just to walk around and chitchat with everyone. He could be there for our hours. He gave you all the time in the world. He told great stories.”

In her personal time, Kathy fills her schedule doing art and design, biking, walking and gardening. She and Loren like to go on summer road trips, spend time at their cabin with family and go on trips with their children and grandchildren.

Kathy’s work-hard attitude comes from her dad, who was Vice President of Sales for Dean Foods, a dairy supplier to Meijer. Kathy remembers her dad fielding calls from stores that were low on Dean Foods products, then making emergency runs in his truck to replenish supplies.

Her family ties to Meijer run deep. All of her sisters – Judy, Diane and Nancy – were Meijer team members at one point, but Kathy holds the Meijer longevity record in the family.

“I’ve never had a bad experience working at Meijer,” she said.

We’re grateful to have had Kathy on our team for 50 years and look forward to many more!

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