A-Z Workers Bring the Long Perspective

A-Z Industries, Inc., a distributor of electrical and industrial wire and cable based in Northbrook, Ill., is claiming to have the oldest regular employee in the country, and when he turns 102 years old this month, Max Fabian may be just that.

Fabian started work at A-Z Industries 22 years ago, after a 30-year career as an administrative assistant and warehouse traffic manager at Anixter Bros., a company previously owned by the Anixter family, and sold to Sam Zell in 1986.

Jim Anixter, co-founder and president of A-Z Industries, brought Fabian with him when he started A-Z in 1988, and he has been a daily fixture ever since. “I consider him part of the Anixter family,” says Anixter. “He understands our business and, other than a hearing problem, he's in fine physical shape at 102.”

Fabian drives himself to work in Northbrook from his home in Niles five days a week, and considers himself a “jack of all trades” at A-Z. “My primary duties are to inspect the warehouse and make sure everything is running smoothly,” he says. “I also pickup and deliver mail on a daily basis, and I function as a security guard of sorts,” he adds.

Jim Anixter is proud of the “senior” talent he has added to his team over the years. “In addition to Max at 102, our chairman is 87, our advertising and public relations manager is 82, our CFO is 76, and our senior outside sales manager is 72. Several worked for Anixter Brothers, and were retired when I hired them for their talent, dedication and experience,” Anixter says. “Never underestimate the talent and power of an experienced senior. I'm 66 and all the rest of our employees around the country are just kids…ranging in age from 22 to 55 years old.”

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