Community & Culture: Spiva Center for the Arts

This textile by Sara Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin, titled “Outside My Picture Window / Mayfair 33502”, is displayed with a list of the streets of East Town, Joplin. The artwork represents the historic African American community where the artist was raised and nurtured. The exhibition at the George A. Spiva Center for the Arts is open through March 13th.

Anyone who has visited L&P’s Corporate Office has seen the extensive collection of paintings which grace our hallways. Two of our former CEOs, Harry Cornell and Felix Wright, were passionate collectors of fine art. This appreciation led to Leggett & Platt’s long history of supporting the arts within our local community. The current exhibition at the George A. Spiva Center for the Arts is a perfect representation of the importance of this philanthropy — educating all of us about the history of the Joplin community, while also highlighting the accomplishments and work of African American artists, musicians, athletes, and poets.

The show, scheduled to run through March 13th, features three unique exhibits, curated by nationally acclaimed fabric artist and Joplin native, Sara Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin. Her own work is featured in one of those exhibits, entitled Journey: Legacy, East Town.


According to Ms. Ruffin’s artist statement, East Town is an exhibition curated in a mixture of textiles designed to engage the viewer in a visual conversation. Many of these textiles are accompanied by poetry written by Sonia Sanchez, a writer and educator considered by many to be the leading female voice of the Black Revolution.

“This collection is a touchstone of accounts, experiences, and contributions of Joplin’s East Town,” says Sara. “It shares a people’s journey, facing the hardships and adversities of building a viable community during a time when African Americans were not welcomed to live in or around Missouri and its surrounding areas.”

The work also highlights the rich resiliency of Joplin’s historic African American community, where she was raised and nurtured.

“The African American residents of Joplin persevered through all adversities. They used their talents, gifts, and education to build a strong and vibrant community in spite of all the challenges that besieged them,” shares Sara. “We are all the legacy of their gifts.”

Black History Month: Garrett Morgan

We can learn a lot from those who came before us – and there are many who helped pave the way for modern manufacturing. In honor of Black History Month, learn with us as we recognize the achievements of some truly remarkable innovators, inventors, and manufacturing pioneers.

Black History Month: Sarah Goode

We can learn a lot from those who came before us – and there are many who helped pave the way for modern manufacturing. In honor of Black History Month, learn with us as we recognize the achievements of some truly remarkable innovators, inventors, and manufacturing pioneers.

Russ Dunton Celebrates 25 Years at L&P!

Russ Dunton began his career at L&P in 1996, when he was hired as the Manager of Tooling and Maintenance in Kendallville, IN. In late January, he proudly celebrated 25 years with L&P! When asked what he appreciates most about working here, he immediately gave credit to the challenging work environment and our people.

“Leggett & Platt has provided many advancement opportunities without having to change employers, which is often the case for engineers,” says Russ. “New responsibilities maintain my interest and keep the work fresh.”

In his most recent position as Director of Central & West Coast Operations, he works closely with teams from L&P Furniture Division in City of Industry, CA and Kendallville, IN. He admits that it sounds like a mission statement to focus on supplying customers with a great product at a fair price, all while providing excellent customer service. However, he enjoys supporting the work that makes that happen.

“My typical day is a mixture of helping my staff perform and address operational, sales, and financial tasks associated with operations,” says Russ.  “No two days are alike, and there are many interesting challenges along the way.”

More than anything, Russ appreciates the great people he works with and treats them like a family. He encourages his teams to get involved in new projects and to grow in their success.

“In my experience, L&P embraces those who have aptitude and interest. Opportunity is available to those who work hard and look for it.”

Black History Month: NASA Mathematicians

We can learn a lot from those who came before us – and there are many who helped pave the way for modern manufacturing. In honor of Black History Month, learn with us as we recognize the achievements of some truly remarkable innovators, inventors, and manufacturing pioneers.

Black History Month: George Washington Carver

We can learn a lot from those who came before us – and there are many who helped pave the way for modern manufacturing. In honor of Black History Month, learn with us as we recognize the achievements of some truly remarkable innovators, inventors, and manufacturing pioneers.

Black History Month: Leonard C. Bailey

We can learn a lot from those who came before us – and there are many who helped pave the way for modern manufacturing. In honor of Black History Month, learn with us as we recognize the achievements of some truly remarkable innovators, inventors, and manufacturing pioneers.

New Year, New Perspectives: Rigo Marquez

To kick off 2021, we’ve introduced you to several of our recent hires and have shared their thoughts on the year ahead.

Meet our final employee in this series – Rigo Marquez, Sourcing Director at L&P!

What brought you to Leggett?
I’ve interacted with members of the Leggett team before and always thought highly of the work environment here. It was important to me to join a company that treats their employees well. I have a Mechanical Engineering Degree and finally, the right job just came along. I appreciate that L&P applies technically savvy people in commercial sourcing applications to work with engineering, manufacturing, and suppliers.

I was nervous to make such a big transition during COVID-19. However, my previous experience in related products and commodities made the learning curve a bit easier. I’m very happy I made the choice to join the team.

What’s something surprising about you?
I’ve whitewater rafted about 20 different rivers throughout the world. Every time I had to stay a weekend in a foreign city for business, I’ve also visited the area’s zoo or museum.  I couldn’t even tell you the zoo count – but its higher than my rivers count.

I also enjoy working on cars and motorcycles as a hobby. I probably have more of each than what I care to admit to my wife. Lovely thing is that she tolerates me.

What’s your biggest goal for 2021?
The one nice thing about Supply Chain is that its all numbers driven – very black and white. Because of this, my 2021 work goals are very specific. On a personal level,  I’m teaching myself more about robotics.

The ultimate goal is to teach my son more skillsets for his future, too – that will be the most fun.

LP Comfort Connect Creates New Opportunities

At L&P if there’s something to accomplish, we’re on it. Our teams regularly roll up their sleeves, looking for unique solutions, improved processes and innovative products to differentiate our company in the marketplace. Our new LP Comfort Connect technology provides a unique platform for delivering smart, customizable products to our customers.

Developers and designers at L&P focus on creating product solutions to enhance our lives and solve our challenges. Several years ago, these teams began to explore how the benefits of automated, customizable bed products could help people sleep better and improve their overall health. After several years of research, development, and engineering, we’ve launched an exciting, new technology platform – LP Comfort Connect™.

“Over recent years, interactive products have become more prevalent and people are looking for ways to introduce more customizable devices in their homes,” says John Zanatta, Director of Sales. “Our team felt that we could integrate an adjustable bed base the same way.”

This led to the internal development of the hardware and software for L&P’s newest adjustable bed product. All movements and feature sets are controlled through the LP Comfort Connect™ app. Bed functions currently include articulation at four points of movement – allowing you to raise and lower the head or foot, lift your pillow, and adjust the lumbar support. It also offers massage, memory settings, USB charging, and a multi-colored underbed light.

Developing all of the hardware and software for an interactive product was a new venture for our teams. However, the approach was an important step toward differentiating the company from competition in the future.  LP Comfort Connect™ was designed to grow and change as new features are developed.

“We looked at this as a major opportunity. Because the technology is proprietary to our company, we control how the components function and work together,” says John. “This allows us to supply our customers with unique features, unavailable on other beds in the market.”

The bedroom of the future is coming, and we want it to come from Leggett & Platt.

Although Leggett & Platt Adjustable Beds are not sold directly to consumers, our products are available both online and in-store from retailers across the country. Product availability will vary by dealer. To see our product line-up, visit our website.

If you are a retailer who is interested in adding L&P products to your line, please contact your sales rep or visit our contact page.