Champion and Mentor: Brad Gordon

After 15 years of dedicated service to L&P, Brad Gordon is preparing for his retirement by partnering for the good of his branch and creating a succession plan.

Brad’s L&P Career

Brad joined L&P in 2008, working at Genesis Seating in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Drafter. He continued in that role until 2017, when he transitioned into New Product Development and became a CAD Pattern Specialist, focusing on designing and manufacturing fabric and leather patterns. Most recently, Brad joined the ID&E strategy team and became a People First Champion at Genesis. He and colleague Americo Moto lead People First local conversations at Genesis. In addition, Brad has been training another colleague, Rosa Villagomez, to take over his role when he retires in early 2024.

We spoke with Brad about his time at Leggett and what he looks forward to in retirement.

What have you enjoyed most about your time at Leggett?

In all my years of employment, I have never worked in a role (CAD Pattern Specialist) that so perfectly aligns with my talents and abilities. It’s a role where my creativity can be fully expressed. Even joining People First has led to discovering gifts and talents I didn’t even know I possessed! I’ve also enjoyed the relationships with my colleagues. There is something mystical about working together in the trenches. That added element makes relationships uniquely strong. It has been a rich & rewarding 15 years!

Brad (center) with Americo and Rosa at Genesis Seating.

You have strong relationships with Americo, your People First partner, and Rosa, your apprentice. Can you tell us about those relationships?

Fully expecting to be Genesis Seating’s sole People First Champion, I was delighted to learn that Americo Mota, our 2nd Shift Plant Supervisor, wanted to serve as well. In the process, Americo and I have become brothers. The key takeaway from this experience is if something unexpectedly great comes your way and seems to be drawing you in, go for it! None of this would have happened if I hadn’t joined the ID&E strategy team.

I worked with my apprentice, Rosa Villagomez, for five years. Her primary role is Fabric Specialist. After speaking with her, my supervisor, and HR, we embarked on a succession plan to train Rosa to take over my role upon retirement. We are on target for her to become the primary CAD Pattern Specialist in early 2024. Over the years, we have become great friends, and along our journey, I have learned as much from Rosa about life as she has learned about CAD from me.

What are you looking forward to most in retirement? 

I’ve always liked volunteering, traveling, and playing golf, so I will step that up. And I hope to read all the books people have either recommended or lent me over the years. I’m also married to Laurie, an off-the-charts Disney fanatic, so a reasonable amount of Disney Cruises will happen. And then, my secret retirement desire is to learn how to play the bass! I’ve always appreciated a good bass player and wondered what it would be like to play one. Now I will finally have the time to find out!

What will you miss about your job?

The relationships. I will miss the connections with friends the most.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would you say? 

There is only one thing you can take with you, your name. Work with all your heart to establish and retain a good name, and everything else will follow.

We wish you all the best, Brad!