IBEW 1837 Welcomes New Office Manager Laurie Kelley as Debbie Owen Retires

December 18, 2014 - Laurie Kelley has become the new full-time Office Manager of IBEW Local Union #1837, working out of the Maine office in Manchester, Maine. Laurie succeeds longtime Office Manager Debbie Owen, who recently retired after nearly 35 years at the Local.

For many of our members, the Union Office Manager is the friendly and professional voice on the other end of the telephone. The Office Manager answers multiple lines in our Manchester, Maine office, frequently fielding urgent inquiries from members looking for help with a problem at work.

Among the other responsibilities of the job is the maintenance of our database and keeping that information updated for approximately 1,600 members. The Office Manager is charged with keeping up on the paperwork associated with financial records, grievances and arbitrations. She also must prepare for regular audits conducted by the Department of Labor, the International Union, the 2nd District, and our Local office.

When Debbie Owen started in 1980, she split her time between IBEW 1837, IBEW 2327, and LIUNA 327. After about six years, with our membership growing and the workload increasing, IBEW 1837 Business Manager Joe Nixon made the decision to ask Debbie to work full-time for IBEW 1837 as our local’s Office Manager. Her retirement in November ends more than three decades of service.

“I know I have some big shoes to fill,” Laurie Kelley said. “How do you replace 35 years of experience and knowledge?”

So far, so good according to IBEW 1837 Business Manager Dick Rogers. “We are very fortunate to have someone with her capabilities accept the job,” he said.

Although Laurie Kelley is new to the Union staff, she’s a familiar and friendly face for longtime visitors to our Maine office. Sister Kelley worked for seven years in an adjacent office as Administrator for United Maine Craftsmen before her most recent stint as Office Manager for the Winthrop Utilities District.

A lifelong Mainer, Laurie was born in Caribou and grew up in North Yarmouth before attending the University of Maine at Orono. When she’s not working, she enjoys creative stuff such as quilting and spending time with her husband Johnny and their two dogs.