Merlyn Schmeig, key player in the development of Dura Supreme's kitchen cabinet doors is retiring after 40 years at our company.
I’d love to share a behind the scenes story about my fellow Dura Supreme team member. We have a lot of long-term employees here in Howard lake, Minnesota, like Merlyn. He has worked for Dura Supreme for over 47 years. When I asked him about his longevity and his commitment to the company, he simply answered, “You just don’t stay at a place unless you have a good experience.”
In 1968, just a few months after he completed basic training for the National Guard and graduated high school, he had two more major changes in his life: his new job at Dura Supreme Cabinetry and his new 1965 Chevy Impala!
“I drove that car to my first day of work," Merlyn explains. "It holds a lot of good memories."
Over the years he has played a key role in Dura Supreme’s product development and engineering departments, developing new products and manufacturing processes to ensure quality and innovation.
In the late 80’s many cabinet manufacturers began to introduce curved doors. Keith Stotts, owner of Dura Supreme, had mentioned the idea to Merlyn, who had already been intrigued and pondering the idea. Inspired, Merlyn went home that day and began tinkering in his home shop. It wasn’t three weeks later, Merlyn walked in with the first prototype of a Dura Supreme curved door.
Merlyn just hung his hat up for retirement. On his last day he surprised us all once again when he arrived in the same restored 1965 Chevy Impala that he had drove his first day 47 years ago!
Dura Supreme was founded in Minnesota by Donald Stotts in the 1950s with a vision of delivering outstanding value along with outstanding design choices in hand-crafted cabinetry. Perhaps it’s our Midwestern work ethic and our “Minnesota Nice” approach to customer satisfaction that has ensured the success of that vision as Dura Supreme quickly gained recognition throughout the region and across the country.
Fifty years and ten facility expansions later, Dura Supreme now employs over 400 people at our 220,000 square foot manufacturing facility located west of Minneapolis. Company President, Keith Stotts (son of the original founder) continues to lead the company based on the guiding principles of quality and innovation that were established from the beginning.
Mandi Juskiewicz is the Marketing Communications Coordinator for Dura Supreme.