Advancing Sustainable Products at Leggett & Platt Automotive

At L&P, our products are increasingly important in helping customers achieve their sustainability goals. We strive to minimize the environmental impacts of our products across their lifecycle. Our businesses are building sustainability into product development processes and designing products for improved durability, recovery, and recycling at end of life.

Our Automotive business has implemented several sustainable product development activities including the use of recycled and alternative materials and a reduction in raw material usage. Here are a few examples:

♻ Recycled polypropylene or nylons are used in some of our components, such as basket comfort shields, actuator housings, and overmolded suspensions.

⤴ Evolution in product design has resulted in the use of ferrite magnets instead of rare earth magnets, thereby reducing the use of rare earth minerals.

💡 Innovation in product design has led to the reduction of raw materials and weight. The weight of our mechanical lumbar support product has been reduced by 70%, to less than 1.5 pounds (600 grams) over time. 

As a leading designer and manufacturer of automotive seating support and comfort systems, these product stewardship examples demonstrate how our business is partnering to support automotive manufacturers in achieving their environmental goals.

Thank you for your support, MSC & Indiana Safety!

We recently recognized two of our suppliers for their dedicated support of Leggett & Platt during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, we developed safety protocols to keep our employees safe, and MSC and Indiana Safety have played a major role in providing us with needed personal protective equipment (PPE) and other various supplies.

We are grateful for your partnership and continued support!

MSC

We presented MSC with an award for continued support of PPE supplies to L&P globally. They provided essential PPE supplies, including N95 masks, nitrile gloves, and electrostatic foggers.

Pictured left to right:

  • Matt Rushing, Territory Inventory Specialist at MSC
  • Steve Thallas, District Manager for Key Accounts at MSC
  • Amy Murphy, Business Development Executive at MSC
  • Jim Gatterer, Headquarter Manager for National Accounts at MSC
  • Brandon Rogers, Branch Manager at L&P Super Sagless

Indiana Safety

Indiana Safety also received an award for continued support of PPE supplies to L&P.

The team helped by providing disposable masks, nitrile gloves, and TB Quat disinfectant.

Pictured left to right:

  • Austin Bush, Vice President/Director of Sales at Indiana Safety
  • Scott Cullison, Regional Sales Manager at Indiana Safety
  • Vanessa Gile, Commodity Manager at L&P
  • Kevin Bush, President at Indiana Safety

Happy Retirement, Marty!

Congratulations to Marty Carpino for retiring after 36 years of service to our L&P Carthage Wire Mill!

In Marty’s words:

“I’ve spent the last 36 years working at the L&P Wire Mill. I started in 1986, when Ronald Reagan was the U.S. President. The Kansas City Royals won the World Series the year before I started, and I had to wait until 2015 for them to win another.

Thanks to L&P, I traveled to Washington, D.C.; Kouts, Indiana; Jacksonville, Florida; Worcester, Massachusetts; and many other places. On the trip to D.C., I had the opportunity to be at a meeting with Vice President Al Gore on safety in the workplace.

Today I look forward to my new beginnings in retirement. To all of my coworkers, thanks for all the memories. That is what I will miss most!”

A Peek Behind the Scenes: Spotlight on L&P’s Imaging Team

At L&P, we manufacture countless products across several industries – bedding, home and work furniture, aerospace, and automotive to name a few. To help our businesses make their products and stories stand out, our in-house team of dedicated designers, photographers, and videographers work together to bring their creative visions to life.

Meet the L&P Imaging team, the folks behind the lenses (and screens).

Evan Younker, Imaging Director

As part of the Imaging team, my days and tasks can vary wildly from one to the next. Generally, I will be either capturing or directing a photo/video shoot in the studio or on location, editing video or photos, or managing and prepping for future projects.

I’ve always enjoyed making and creating things of all kinds. I started shooting video on my parents’ VHS camcorder when I was young and have enjoyed video production and photography since. Initially, I wanted to do feature film production, but I now enjoy producing content for a variety of products and projects.

What I enjoy most about my role is learning and growing a variety of skillsets. Project management, marketing consultation, art direction, and video production are all elements of what I do at L&P. I enjoy being involved in all aspects of the process.

Tony Monteleone, Video Production Editor

Every day in my role as a Video Production Editor is different, and that really makes my job rewarding. My tasks all fall into the pre-production, production, post-production circle; and often we have multiple projects happening simultaneously. During the day, it’s not uncommon to discuss a storyboard in the morning then spend the afternoon on set capturing images or fine-tuning a video.

My interest in filming probably started somewhere between my grandma giving me film boxes to teeth on and dad buying a VHS camcorder in the early 90’s – I’ve just always enjoyed telling stories through images.

Teamwork is the most valuable aspect of my role. We all bring unique experience and outstanding technical knowledge to the projects. I always look forward to what happens when we combine those talents and deliver content that exceeds client expectations.

Kayley Baumhover, Interior Designer

A typical day as an Interior Designer at L&P is usually spent looking for props, photoshopping sets, tracking budgets, meeting with clients to discuss their vision and ideas, and making revisions so that everyone is on the same page and telling the same story.

I’ve always loved to create – I went to school for theatre and took multiple design classes in college. My dad is also a general contractor, so I’ve learned a lot about design just by being around him!

I really enjoy the sense of pride when finishing a creative project. Seeing ideas come to life is such an amazing and gratifying feeling. I enjoy working in a team environment that’s focused on and working towards a common goal. Seeing that goal completed is one of my favorite feelings!

Levi DeWitt, Editor/Motion Designer II

In my role, I spend most days editing videos in After Effects or Premiere Pro, but on production days, I’m either in the studio or on-site filming.

Graphics and video production have been one of my biggest passions for years. Being a part of a team that works to bring ideas to life is part of what thrills me about creative work. I studied graphic communications at Pittsburg State University hoping that someday I could find a position with a company’s in-house graphics team. I assumed I would have to move to a big city to find that, but little did I know that I’d find exactly what I was looking for right here in Carthage!

I love the variety and challenge of my work – our team receives all sorts of requests from L&P’s variety of businesses. It’s a lot of fun to approach new project as a problem and work together to find the best way to solve it.

Tyler Kosiorek, Photographer

One of my favorite elements of being an L&P photographer is the variety of work I get to do. I might be on set taking photos one day and re-touching images the next. When I think I’ve finally found a typical workday, something new pops up.

About 25 years ago, I picked up a camera and haven’t put it down since. Consequently, I went to school for art and decided to round out my education with an additional degree in commercial photography. I still get to make art with a camera, which is what I really enjoy doing.

I’m so thankful that I’m able to come to work and create something every single day – I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health is an incredibly important part of overall health.

Many of us likely understand the impact of mental health on work. Whether you’re a remote worker, an essential worker, or you’re a friend or caregiver to someone with a mental health condition, the past two years have reinforced that we all have mental health needs. 

People might feel like they’re battling seemingly never-ending challenges and trying to cope with mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion and work-related stress.

What can we do?

  • Collaborate: Be aware of the need to work together and support each other. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you’re feeling.
  • Reach out for help: Ask for what you need in order to perform your best.
  • Check on others: Helping others improves your sense of control, belonging, and self-esteem. Look for safe ways to offer support to others, especially if they are showing signs of anxiety or depression.

Coping with stress in a healthy way will make each of us, the people we care about, and our communities stronger.

Honoring the Legacy of Harry M. Cornell, Jr.

We are saddened by the recent passing of Harry M. Cornell, Jr., whose legacy of honesty and commitment defines our company culture to this day.

A Lifelong Leader at L&P

Harry had a lifelong commitment to Leggett & Platt. His career with L&P began in 1950 after he graduated with a degree in business administration and marketing from the University of Missouri. From his first position as a sales office assistant and trainee in Louisville, Kentucky, Harry moved into sales, covering several territories and establishing many successful accounts.

In 1953, Harry was asked to manage our plant in Ennis, Texas, and quickly turned around the then-struggling operation. In 1955, He was named a company vice president and was elected to the Board of Directors in 1958.

Harry soon formulated a plan to grow the company, and in 1960, he was elected president and CEO. At that time, L&P was a private spring company with four U.S. factories generating $7 million in annual sales. As the new CEO, Harry envisioned five steps to L&P growth:

  • Build long-term relationships with employees, customers, and potential partners
  • Invest in maintaining and upgrading existing facilities
  • Broaden the product lineup
  • Extend geographically
  • Acquire new businesses

By the end of his tenure as CEO in 1999, L&P’s annual sales had exploded to $3.5 billion from nearly 200 factories in 18 countries manufacturing a diverse group of products found throughout the home, office, and in automobiles. He also oversaw 196 acquisitions, breaking L&P into new markets geographically, across product lines, and through vertical integration. His example endures to this day in L&P’s ongoing focus on continuous improvement. Harry retired from the Leggett Board as Chairman Emeritus in 2008. 

Harry Cornell pictured at work, circa 1970 (left) and 1990.

Harry’s Lasting Legacy

Harry recognized that a company is only as good as its people. His dedication to teambuilding and putting people first set the standard for our ongoing company culture. In 2016, we dedicated our corporate campus as Cornell Campus and unveiled a bronze statue as a tribute to Harry’s impact and lasting contributions.

Harry at the L&P corporate campus in 2017, pictured alongside the bronze statue in his honor.

“L&P was always something more personal to Harry, as evidenced by the way he cared about each of his employees,” said Karl Glassman, Executive Chairman of the Board. “He invested himself in L&P’s people – inspiring us to work that much harder to meet our goals.”

Harry was also an influential and generous community partner. He was very active at the University of Missouri, his alma mater, in conceptualizing the Business School building and funding the Cornell Leadership Scholarship. In 2018, he received the Furniture Today Lifetime in Bedding Achievement Award, and he was also inducted into the Hall of Carthage Heroes, Carthage, MO. In 2014, he was inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame as an Industry Fellow.

He committed major gifts to the Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, the Cornell-Beshore Cancer Institute at Freeman Health System, the Harry M. Cornell Medical Education Center, and the Harry M. Cornell Dental Education Center. This past April, he was named Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, recognizing him for his business accomplishments and philanthropic efforts.

Thank you, Harry, for everything you did for our company, our community, and as our friend. We are incredibly grateful.

Learning Life Lessons as a Military Spouse

Andrea Dold is an Audit Project Supervisor at L&P. She is a busy mom to daughter Sarah, enjoys traveling, and loves to spend as much time outdoors as possible. She is also a military spouse.

Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day in the U.S. – a day when many take time to acknowledge the sacrifices and support provided by spouses of service members.

Andrea has fully committed to supporting her husband, Scott, as he builds his career in the U.S. Air Force. For their family, this has meant relocating every few years as his flight-testing role requires.

Luckily, Andrea has also been able to develop in her career in Internal Audit. She was first drawn to Leggett & Platt in 2010 for the opportunity to travel and work with people across the world.

She has been able to do just that, and she has also learned a few lessons along the way.

What have you learned as a military spouse?

Throughout our marriage, Scott and I have lived in Germany, California, Washington D.C., Oklahoma, and will soon be moving to Las Vegas!

I used to be more reserved around people, but moving every 1-2 years and starting from scratch has taught me to come out of my shell and develop friendships wherever I am.

Admittedly, sometimes it can be hard to make friends as an adult, but I always challenge myself to venture out to new settings and introduce myself. I work to find commonalities in people, and it has been so rewarding.

No matter where you’re living, it’s the people that can make a new place feel like home.

How has L&P supported you throughout your career?

The greatest benefit by far is the ability to retain a career despite moving with my husband’s job. I am incredibly thankful that my team has been supportive and flexible throughout my many moves.

I’ve worked in a lot of different time zones, and my managers have always been accommodating. Quite frankly, L&P has been the most constant thing in our lives during many seasons of change.

Opening Doors for the Military Community at L&P

Summer Steelman had big dreams for her life: She wanted to become a dancer and was even scheduled for several auditions on Broadway. But after the events of September 11, 2001, her plans changed.

“After 9/11, I decided to join the military. I became a Linguist, or a translator, in the Air Force and served for five years,” she explains. She originally planned on serving in the military for her entire career, but an injury prevented her from doing so.

When she was stationed in Hawaii, she met her now-husband, Matthew, who was also serving in the Air Force. Matt continues to serve today, marking 19 years of active duty.

When Summer decided to go back to school, her grandfather encouraged her to find out what she was most passionate about and pursue it as a career. “My grandfather, a WWII veteran, my hero and mentor, gave me the push I needed to search for my path,” she says.

Summer and her grandparents after her graduation from basic training.

After several different career assessments, she decided to get her degree in psychology. Not only did she enjoy the counseling aspect of her degree, but the career counseling aspect in particular. This led to a job at her university’s career office, where she became interested in participating in career fairs, giving resume advice, and helping students find jobs.

“All this led to my search for a job where I could focus on recruiting full-time,” she explains. “I’m thankful that I found my path and now get to help other veterans and military spouses find their dream jobs.”

As a Talent Advisor at L&P, Summer is passionate about making career resources more accessible to the military community.

“I’m very excited to be part of a team that is open to hearing my perspective as a veteran and military spouse,” she said. “I get to use my personal experience to help improve our recruitment efforts for the military community as well as improve access to resources for them.”

Summer also encourages veterans and military spouses who are looking for career support to reach out to their fellow military community. “It can feel overwhelming to navigate the Transition Assistance Program alone,” she says.

The Transition Assistance Program, or TAP, is a government program that provides those leaving military service with information, tools, and training to prepare them for civilian life.

“My advice would be to talk to other people that have gone through it and take advantage of the resources available to you. You’re not alone – there are people who want to help you take the next step in your career.”

Earth Day Celebrations

Last Friday, in honor of Earth Day, several L&P facilities planned activities to celebrate and help care for our planet:

  • Coming together for a team discussion about environmental preservation
  • Handing out tree seedlings
  • Sharing an earth-themed meal
  • Opting for silverware instead of plasticware
  • Planting a tree together

Here are just a few pictures!

Take Our Kids to Work Day

It’s Take Our Kids to Work Day! We asked a few of our kids to describe what we do at L&P. Can you guess the jobs from these adorable descriptions? Answers below!

Answers:

  • Accountant
  • Lawyer
  • HR Business Partner
  • IT Leader
  • Automotive Business Leader
  • Communications Leader
  • Finance Leader