A True Ahrens Asset
How head matriarch Marj Ahrens continues to Inspire all women in the Ahrens community
When you think of Ahrens it’s hard to imagine where it is today without the head matriarch, Marj Ahrens. Since marrying Bob Ahrens, Marj joined the family business in 1964 where she would take on a multifaceted role that although might look a little different now, she is still a huge part of Ahrens today. Alongside raising their two children, Stef and Janine, Marj was everyone’s go-to finance extraordinaire, book keeper, chief cook, courier and bottle washer.
One of the fondest memories of many workers back in the day was Marj’s cooking on Saturday where she would cook lunch for all the workers. People described the Ahrens workplace almost like a town square with a true sense of community where everybody knew everyone. A culture that was built by Marj and Bob.
For years the Ahrens women made up the very fabric of the company. From early days, Alma would run the post office in the local town of Sheaoak Log, and years later this would be passed down to Myrtle Ahrens, her daughter-in-law. The hardworking nature of women throughout this business continues to become evident as fifth generation, Ellen Ahrens is now taking her first steps in adding her name to the list.
When asked about her career highlights over the years, Marj specifically recalls when the business went international and exported chicken sheds to Libya in 1972. Her fondest memory was when Ahrens celebrated 100 years of being in business, Marj described the festivities as the most spectacular sight. Marj’s organisation was a key to the success of the business, maintaining Bob’s research and development over the years.
Her level-headedness was what made the company survive putting her foot on the breaks when it came to finances. It’s easy to find a direct correlation between the success of Ahrens and the women who have helped to build this empire, especially Marj. When Bob was asked about Marj’s career he said, “she was so skilled in her job and a true Ahrens asset. She was the backbone to the whole show, people don’t ring me, they ring Marj – she’s done a mighty job.” Marj is a well-respected inspiration to all women who are part of the Ahrens community.