Full Circle: Leonard Ruggiero’s Career at L&P

From taking on new responsibilities to learning new skills, our team members have shown dedication and commitment to their careers. This month, we’re sharing some of their stories related to professional growth.

Leonard Ruggiero began his career at L&P in 1992, first in a temporary role, before becoming a packing machine operator full-time at Hanes Industries in Conover, North Carolina. Throughout the years, Leonard took advantage of every opportunity to change jobs and learn new skills, including running each machine, working in shipping and receiving, and even participating in a supervisor training program.

In 2007, Leonard became a Program Manager at Hanes Geo in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he collaborated with the Idea Center and other partners to develop more efficient machine processes. After ten years, he took on the role of National Integration, overseeing all branch moves from start to finish, including implementing and training on all systems during acquisitions, as well as training new team members.

Today, Leonard is back where his journey began over 30 years ago at Hanes Industries in Conover, serving as the Plant Manager. In this role, Leonard has had the opportunity to reconnect with many of the people he worked with for 17 years on machines, in the warehouse, and management.

“Bringing the skills and tools I have learned over the years to an established team like we have in Conover is a great part of this role. We have always had a great team here, and leading them is a privilege.”

Throughout his career at Leggett, Leonard has had many mentors who helped guide him and craft his growth and belief in himself, including Jerry Greene, Samantha Howell, Bruce Cloninger, Guy Ruff, Brett Graff, and Zach Cox. He credits these mentors for believing in him and wanting him to succeed. They also instilled many lessons in him, but the advice that resonated most was fairness.

“My mentors told me that if you are fair across the board, you will sleep well at night. Making decisions that can impact people or businesses is hard, and if your goal is to be fair, you will find those choices a lot easier.”

Looking back at his career, Leonard offers this advice to those contemplating a move within Leggett:

“Put in the work with care and dedication, trust your knowledge, and listen to your mentors. For me, self-doubt was a barrier I had to break through, and I learned after many years that our team does not give opportunities to people they don’t feel are ready. I also realized that mentoring never stops, and I have been trying to pay it forward to those around me.”

In his personal life, Leonard loves spending time with his wife of 30 years and his 16-year-old daughter. He is a coach and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor, and when he’s not working on cars, he is trying to publish his second book.