Carla Smyer retired as chief administrative officer at 18-branch Riback Supply in early October. Smyer had been with the company for 44 years.

Smyer started with the company as a clerk in the Columbia, Mo., corporate office and rose to CAO, Riback’s second in command. For more than 25 years she headed Riback’s Heating Products Division headquartered in Springfield, Mo.

“Carla is an exceptional individual,” Riback President Emeritus Marty Riback said. “She entered the male-dominated world of HVAC supply at a time when there were almost no other non-family-related women in the industry. She became known to vendors and industry insiders as a forceful and articulate voice. She gained the respect of Riback’s customers statewide. Carla is a pioneer for women in management.”

Smyer and her husband, Frank, will continue to make their home outside Springfield.