Celebrating Erna Mueler

At Pagliacci, no ingredient is more essential to our success than our employees. We work hard to hire well and to build a culture of support. As a result, we have a surprising number of employees with more than 20 years of experience. Recently, one of our valued employees, Erna Mueller, retired after nearly 23 years in Accounts Payable at Pagliacci. We honored her with a party at Canlis.

“A stretch limo even picked me up,” Erna says. “The view of the water from Canlis is gorgeous. It was so nice seeing everyone from the accounting department there. It was wonderful.”


In her retirement, Erna plans to devote even more time to her writing, a passion she’s been committed to most of her adult life. Erna emigrated to the U.S. from Austria in 1983 after finishing college and traveling the world. She began writing as a way to improve her English. Now, if you spoke to her, you’d never know English wasn’t her native language.

Erna has written two screenplays and takes inspiration from another Austrian, the great screenwriter from Hollywood’s Golden Age, Billy Wilder. Her first screenplay, A New Leash on Life (now renamed K-9 Cop), won several awards, including first prize at the 2006 Houston International Film Festival in the Family Screenplay category. She adapted this into a young adult novel entitled K-9 Cop: Case #1 The Dreck Report. Currently, it has a rating of four and a half stars on Amazon. Her newest screenplay, The McBrides, is a romantic comedy about three guys from a failing men’s magazine who travel to Ukraine to get mail order brides.

Erna was hired into Pagliacci’s accounting department by Margaret Lau in 1995. There were only six stores then, and there wasn’t enough work in Accounts Payable to keep her busy, so she took delivery orders in the afternoon. But by 1999 things were hopping. “We were opening one new store after another, and the accounting department grew accordingly,” Erna says.


For health reasons, Erna went onto an early pension. She is excited to write and travel. Soon, she will move to the Sacramento area to be closer to her sister

“Pagliacci is a wonderful company to work for,” Erna says. “They were extremely generous with me and extremely accommodating in helping me work out an early retirement.”

Thank you, Erna, for all you did for us. You will be dearly missed.