Mary Kathryn Lary currently holds the record for Alfa’s longest-working employee. “I have worked for Alfa® for 55 years.” While born and raised in Knoxville, AL, Mary moved to Northport, AL, where she resides. Mary is a Claims Customer Service Representative (CSR) in the Central Claims Office in Tuscaloosa, AL. “My job is to issue payments, process salvage paperwork, handle subrogation documents and assist the adjusters with unfinished tasks.”
Growing up on a farm and having three older brothers, mornings were early for Mary. “I went to school in Eutaw, AL which meant leaving home at 6 AM in the mornings because my dad drove a school bus and the route was long.” Mary is a huge fan of Alabama football, Detroit baseball and the Houston Cougars. Her granddaughter’s husband is on the coaching staff of the University of Houston football team. “I have been blessed with a wonderful family and my wonderful husband, who was on this journey with me for 43 years until his passing in December 2017. Alfa is also family, and I appreciate having the opportunity to work for such a great company for so long.”
While she was involved in the church choir and school performing arts, music became a growing passion for Mary. Besides being a musical prodigy, the Greene County High School alumna enjoyed her time on the marching field as a majorette. Mary has always enjoyed collecting dolls, which turned into a hobby she continues today. Mary has also built quite a collection of Detroit Tigers baseball memorabilia relating to her husband. It is a passion and hobby they share.
Alfa has a reputation for having employees who are also relatives of each other. Mary’s daughter, Angie Lancaster, has worked for Alfa for 37 years. She started as a File Clerk and held different roles during her career. Angie now works in management in the Home Office. “I am extremely proud of her accomplishments through the years.”
(5th from the left) Mary in the Tuscaloosa News in 1968.
Mary began working with Alfa on January 28, 1968, as Claims Secretary. She was looking for work while her son enrolled in kindergarten. “There was an ad in the paper, and I went for an interview. Everyone had to type on a manual typewriter, and you were graded on the number of words typed in a minute.” She has also transitioned to several roles as a Claims Secretary, Supervising Sales CSR, Agent, and District Supervisor. Due to after-hours and travel requirements, she returned to her position as a Claims CSR.
There are several unforgettable events that Mary shared about her time at Alfa:
- Receiving the Terry McCollum Claims Achievement Award
- Receiving recognition and pin for her 45th and 50th year milestone, and a glass plaque for 55th year
- Passing the P&C license test on the first try in 2013
When asking Mary about her retirement plans, she responds, “I don’t have a retirement plan other than when I wake up one day and say to myself ‘I do not want to go to work today’, then I will know it is time. I really love Alfa and my job, and I work with a group of wonderful people every day.”
Alfa is proud to have employees like Mary- who represent our company’s Core 4 Values by leading efforts to serve the community. If this describes you, explore our careers and join the Alfa family!