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Massena resident among those ringing in Alcoa’s 125th year at NYSE

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MASSENA — Massena resident Megan E. Smith is part of a legacy of employment at Alcoa’s Massena operations, but recently she joined a more exclusive group when she was at the podium of the New York Stock Exchange.

Ms. Smith accompanied Alcoa Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld and other senior company officials Tuesday to ring the closing bell, celebrating the 125th anniversary of Alcoa.

The finance manager has been with Alcoa for 13 years and was chosen from more than 60,000 employees for the celebration. She is the fourth generation of her family to work for Alcoa.

“I found out on Sept. 6. I got a phone call from corporate and they said, ‘We’d like you to be a part of the 125th anniversary of the bell-ringing for Alcoa,’” Ms. Smith said. “I felt so honored to be given such a wonderful opportunity to represent my family and Alcoa. It’s such an important moment in the company’s history. I felt so blessed to get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

“Alcoa wanted to select a representative employee to join Klaus Kleinfeld at the podium. Megan was selected to represent a multigenerational Alcoa family. She has four generations of her family that have worked here,” Alcoa spokeswoman Laurie A. Marr said.

Ms. Smith began with Alcoa as an intern for two years and has been a full-time employee for 11 years.

“When I first started as an intern, I was still in college and figuring out what I wanted to do for a living,” she said. “Through the internship, it led to a full-time position. It wasn’t until after a few years at the company that I found out about the family history with the company.”

From 2002 to 2006, she worked with the Alcoa Forging and Extrusions Unit as a financial analyst, and she has had roles with increasing responsibilities since.

She worked in Virginia in 2006 and 2007 before returning to Massena to work with the primary metals group.

She has been the finance manager for both Massena Alcoa plants since 2011.

Her position is “essentially like an assistant controller. I oversee the two power functions for the two plants. You get involved with forecasting and planning functions for the two plants. We’re responsible for reporting the results every month,” Ms. Smith said. “It’s a great role. I have a great team working with me, hard-working folks.”

Although her parents were never employed by the world’s leading producer of aluminum, Ms. Smith has a rich family history with the company.

Two of her uncles have experience with Aloca in some capacity, one retiring in 2004 and the other starting in 2010. Among others, Ms. Smith’s great-grandfather worked at Alcoa from 1911 to 1958.

“I heard so many interesting stories after talking with family members,” she said. “My great-aunt said my great-grandfather would cut rubber from old tires and attach it to the bottom of his boots for extra protection in the pot rooms. We’ve really come so far in terms of the awareness around safety and the layers of protection we have for our employees. Hearing some of these stories makes me appreciate that.”

“It was incredible. It was one of those moments that I’ll never forget. There are so many other multigenerational families working for Alcoa. I just wish we could recognize and celebrate them all. I wish that they could be highlighted like this,” Ms. Smith said.

“My family was so proud. My parents (Jack and Carol), brothers, extended family members and friends all sent me wonderful messages that day, after the event. I’m sure that both of my grandfathers and my great-grandfather were smiling down on me that day.”

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