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Top Five Things We’re Grateful for This Season

This year has undoubtedly been full of surprises – for most of us, we’ve had to adjust to changes in routine, limit visits with loved ones, or accommodate remote school or work. Even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we think it’s more important than ever to recognize all the things we have to be grateful for this year.

We asked a few of our employees to share what it is that they’re most grateful for as we head into the holiday season, and here’s what they said:

1. Connectivity. “2020 has been a really difficult year for all of us, but there are a lot of things to be thankful for if we look for them! The thing that I am most grateful for this year has been the ability to connect more with my family. The simple things like getting to say good morning each day, cooking dinner together on weeknights, grading my son’s homework, and playing with our puppy have helped us to grow even closer together.” -Brandon Lin, Director of Business Process Transformation

2. Self-Care. “Self-care is essential, especially around the holidays, but even more so this year. 2020 has taught us many lessons, and taking care of ourselves mentally, physically and spiritually is important to me. During the holidays, I usually relax by dedicating time for an early morning run, spend a few minutes meditating and the rest of the days loving on my family, which includes my Yorkshire Terrier, Maxx. Taking care of myself is essential when also needing to care for others.” -Wednesdá Furman, Director of HR

3. Memories. “As Thanksgiving approaches, I realize this year will be very different. It makes me extremely thankful for memories of past Thanksgivings and the traditions that have been passed down over the years. I’m also thankful for family who are willing to do things differently this year to make the ‘Pandemic Thanksgiving’ a safe and memorable one.” -Tammy Jones, Loss Control Engineer, Corporate Risk Department

4. Friends and Family. “I’m grateful for my friends and family. This being a really difficult year to work with all the changes taking place in the world, we tend to lean on the ones we love and care the most for support – especially when we don’t know what’s around the corner. But friends and family will always be there to get you through the tough times.” -Brent Hardesty, Systems Administrator

5. Technology. “I’m thankful for the way this year has helped me better connect with my friends and family who live far away. As I started using more virtual hangouts and video chats as creative ways to socialize while social distancing, I’ve gotten closer to some of my out-of-state friends as a result. It has been a huge silver lining of the pandemic.”  -Megan McManus, IT Trainer, Tech Adoption Team

Tight-Knit Culture Keeps Mississippi Team Connected

Leggett & Platt’s team at Omega Motion in Tupelo, Mississippi has a longstanding cultural reputation of family, friends, and opportunity. They recently participated in one of several team and community building activities that we featured here on our blog –  but we wanted to know more about their workplace culture firsthand. We asked a few employees to tell us what they love most about Omega Motion. From the sound of it, there’s a lot to love!

John Gory – Branch Manager

John started his journey with Leggett & Platt in 1985 as a drafter at the Super Sagless branch. Over the years, he’s worked his way up through the company to his most recent promotion from a Senior Engineer to Branch Manager at Omega Motion.

“I love the ‘friends and family’ atmosphere here at Omega. We love innovation and thrive on a challenge to invent something that’s never been done before. There is great joy in working with our team to figure out how we can do it, and get it done!”

“This isn’t just a job –  it’s a place to build your career and there’s always room for advancement. If you have a passion for what you’re doing, it’s easy to grow in this company.”

Andy Lesley – Production Supervisor

Andy started working at Super Sagless in 1987 as a machine operator and transferred to Omega Motion in 1999. He was promoted to Line Back-up Lead, then to Line Lead, then to Maintenance. His most recent promotion was in 2019, where he was promoted to Supervisor of the Assembly Department.

“I like the comradery of the people and the many friendships I have made throughout the years here at Omega, along with the opportunities I’ve been given to advance. I’m a proven example of; if you work hard, believe in yourself and others, anything is possible.”

“I still actually enjoy operating a rivet machine to assemble hardware from time to time, to inspire teamwork and to put a competitive edge on each line for reaching their production goals, and then some! When they feel like they’re in a competition, they really work together to get those numbers!”

Misti Lambert – Director of EHS, QC and CI

Misti joined the Omega Team in February of 2014 as the QC/CI Manager. She then gained the responsibility of Safety in March of 2017 and then Environmental in July of 2019.

“I really enjoy my job and the family environment here at Omega! My roles here allow me to interact with the employees daily and hope that I always do my part in making each employee know their importance to our organization. I have an open-door policy and want them to always feel like they can come to me and know that I genuinely care about them and their wellbeing. I have told the manufacturing team often; without you, they don’t need me!”

Omega Motion and Super Sagless are both hiring for roles in their manufacturing facilities! You can apply for open positions at Omega here and Super Sagless here, both located in Tupelo, Mississippi. Keep following our blog to learn more about the positions and culture offered at their facilities.

 

United Way Agency Spotlight: Boys & Girls Club

We value a culture of giving and encourage our employees to Do Some Good. Throughout the course of our Corporate campaign, we have shown a spotlight on several of the incredible agencies that United Way serves in our local community. Times may be difficult, but we have witnessed communities rising to meet hard moments. If in a position to give this year, we encourage you to support your local agency, too.

Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri

Many working families in our community have come to rely on the exceptional care their children receive at the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Missouri. At only $25 per semester, their after-school program is very affordable  saving families money during a time when funds have never been tighter. Participating children develop ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals while interacting and having fun with friends their own age. The program has been carefully designed to advance academic success, character, and healthy lifestyles.

This year presented several creative challenges. The staff used the shut-down to complete a planned renovation and expansion of their facility but were able to move to an alternative location for their summer program. The pandemic also required them to operate at a reduced capacity and to implement additional safety protocols. Taking these measures allowed the participating kids to be kids again: playing with friends, spending time with mentors and heroes, watching guest speakers, and participating in a variety of fun activities.

In addition to the other changes, Boys & Girls Club also worked to strengthen their virtual programming this summer. This meant even more kids were learning through targeted and engaging activities. Staff utilized social media and created video content to help to minimize learning losses during the pandemic, often encouraging kids to share their results and engage using hashtags.

“We take a very educational approach to our program,” says Rhonda Gorham, Executive Director. “We focus on providing them with learning opportunities in math, reading, and especially science  which is fun because it can be messy!” During the school year, staff also require all students to complete their homework, which frees up their evening to focus on time with their families.


Throughout the rest of this school year, the Boys & Girls Club is committed to encouraging the kids in their program. They also hope to increase the number of students they’re able to serve. The United Way donations they receive are vital to that service  covering staff salaries, project materials, meals, and other expenses of the program.

“We look forward to a time when we can welcome volunteers into our doors again. It was really nice to have those extra hands,” says Rhonda. “However, people can help in many other ways. We really appreciate it when people take the time to connect with us on social media and help to share our message. Our club is working to build our community… starting with each of the children we serve.”

United Way Agency Spotlight: Jasper County 4-H

We value a culture of giving and encourage our employees to Do Some Good. Throughout the course of our Corporate campaign, we’ll be spotlighting several of the incredible agencies that United Way serves in our local community. Times may be difficult, but we have witnessed communities rising to meet hard moments. If in a position to give this year, we encourage you to support your local agency, too.

Jasper County 4-H 

At the beginning of every meeting and event, 4-H members make a pledge to the American Flag and the 4-H flag. They repeat in unison, “I pledge my HEAD to clearer thinking, my HEART to greater loyalty, my HANDS to larger service, and my HEALTH to better living  for my club, my community, my country and my world.”

This promise clearly encompasses what 4‑H aims to do. Through their clubs, kids and teens complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and civic engagement in a positive environment — where they receive guidance from volunteer adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. Jasper County’s program has several active clubs in the area, which are delivered by the University of Missouri Extension.

Pictured above are five of the eight 4-H members who served on the livestock judging teams this year. These kids completed this state contest virtually. Jasper County 4-H’s junior team placed 5th in the State and the senior team placed 6th — both within their respective divisions.

With projects on more than 75 topics, 4-H has something to interest every child. Some of those learning opportunities include: geocaching, robotics, international exchanges, horsemanship, pets, starting a business, arts and crafts, raising animals, woodworking, photography and gardening. Many clubs have also taken on critical societal issues, such as addressing community health inequities, engaging in civil discourse and advocating for equity and inclusion for all.

The program emphasizes equal opportunities for kids who may be underserved as well. “We want to ensure that all the children in our program develop a partnership with an adult who can mentor them,” says Sarah Townley, 4-H Youth Program Associate. “The influence of a positive adult role model can really benefit a child throughout their entire life.”

Last December, Jasper County 4-H Teen Council rang the bell for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Donation Drive.

As with many other local non-profit organizations, the issues presented by the pandemic have been a challenge. However, staff and volunteers of 4-H have worked diligently to continue presenting engaging learning opportunities for their participants. While they were unable to meet in person, many clubs provided virtual options, and leaders adjusted the requirements for specific achievements. The children were even able to compete in a closed-door Jasper County Youth Fair, where they were able to safely compete in livestock shows. Other projects were judged remotely. While somewhat altered, these changes provided goals, normalcy, and community to many kids, during a difficult time.

The Jasper County Youth Fair is normally the largest fundraiser for Jasper County 4-H, so these changes have brought financial hardship as well. They are extremely grateful for the consistent support they receive from the United Way, as it enables them to continue the work they do with youth in our community.

“United Way allows our kids to go and do things they have never been able to before,” says Sarah. “Those dollars are often used to cover registration fees and expenses for the kids to attend state and national contests, summer camps, and leadership conferences. We really want to provide opportunities for all the kids we serve.”

In February (pre-Covid), the local Senior Meats Judging team competed at the Missouri State 4-H meat judging contest — and took First Place!

No-Sag Recognized for Veteran Hiring Practices

Over its 72 years in Kendallville, Indiana, L&P’s No-Sag Products facility has had a reputation of welcoming and working with veterans and active duty military. In fact, their workforce makeup is comprised of around 8% military employees.

Two weeks ago, the facility was proud to accept the 2020 Northeast Indiana Manufacturers’ Workplace Diversity Award. The award recognized their dedication and commitment to diverse and inclusive hiring practices.

Over the years, the facility has been recognized several other times for their hiring practices and dedication to veterans. On November 7, 2019, No-Sag General Manager Russ Dunton, and Jason Maneke, Human Resources Manager, accepted the Hire Vets Medallion Award from Deputy Secretary of Labor Sam Shellenberger in a ceremony at the Department of Labor in Washington, D.C.

“Vets have a skill set that gives them a leg up,” said Dunton. “Veterans are disciplined, receive training well, and are on time.”

In 2008, the facility was also honored with the American Legion Certificate of Appreciation from the National Economic Commission of the American Legion.

No-Sag has provided jobs to veterans from World War II to the latest conflicts in Afghanistan. One of those employees was Sam Crossley, who started with the company in 1961. Crossley and his wife Linda were both longtime employees at the facility. Sam retired as a shift supervisor in 2008, after working there for 47 years. Linda continued to work part-time in the front-office. She shared that No-Sag was very supportive when Sam was drafted to go to war during the Vietnam War. Upon returning from active duty, his job was still waiting for him.

“We are like one big family here,” she said.

“They have been good to me,” said Tim Knox, a current employee and Army Veteran. “For a matter of fact they are good to all veterans. When I went to reserve status for the Gulf War, they were really supportive.” Continue reading

Part 2: Teams & Tech at Super Sagless

As we shared last week, employees at L&P’s Super Sagless and Omega facilities in Tupelo, Mississippi produce the mechanisms that make many household chairs recline or swivel. their jobs are safer, cleaner, and easier due to the technologies they utilize there  including robotics!

However, for many of their employees, their supportive culture is just as important. Team members genuinely care about each other — and take pride in helping their coworkers succeed. To learn more, we asked several more employees to describe, in their own words, what they love most about working at Super Sagless:

Jasmine Montalvo has worked as a Quality Control Auditor at Super Sagless for 2 years. Her role is to check the accuracy and tolerance of parts against their blueprints. She conducts internal audits every month using the NCMR and LP9000 systems. “Throughout my day, I check welds, part dimensions, the accuracy of punches, and watch for unsafe burrs on parts,” says Jasmine. “It’s my responsibility to ensure all our parts are being produced consistently. I enjoy being able to interact with my coworkers and to help them improve their processes and productivity.”

Mary Heard has worked on the Janitorial Staff at Super Sagless for 6 years. “I love the environment at this facility,” she says. “There is very little pressure from my managers, and they trust me with ensuring the facility is clean and disinfected. I take a lot of pride in the fact that I am helping to save lives.”

Joscelyn Nunn has enjoyed her position as an Assembly Table Operator for over 4 years. ” I’ve always liked putting things together and using my hands to craft,” says Joscelyn. “Being on the assembly side of the plant fits me perfectly. The work environment here is very friendly and our management is understanding, too.”

Top 5 Quotes That Inspired Us This Week

We know how the fall season goes – work gets busier, papers are due, kids are out of school for the holidays (not to mention how the pandemic has shaken up our usual plans and family get-togethers). As we reflected on ways to stay motivated and grounded throughout the season, we assembled our Top 5 Inspirational Quotes to help us get through:

  1. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” –Mark Twain
  2. “Failure isn’t fatal – but failure to change might be.” –John Wooden
  3. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you down. It’s the pebble in your shoe.” –Muhammad Ali
  4. “I’ve found that there is always some beauty left – in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you.” –Anne Frank
  5. “You can’t fall if you don’t climb. But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground.” –Unknown

Part 1: Teams and Tech at Super Sagless

Employees at L&P’s Super Sagless and Omega facilities in Tupelo, Mississippi produce the mechanisms that make many household chairs recline or swivel. However, their jobs are safer, cleaner, and easier due to the technologies they utilize there  including robotics!

“Manufacturing jobs can be dirty and exhausting,” says Dustin Manning, IT administrator and technician for both facilities. “However, the welding robots, riviting machines, and automatic presses we use do the difficult work for our employees.”

The robotics also contribute to ensuring the safety of employees. There’s less risk of injury when using a robot than when the same process is completed manually. Social distancing is simple too. The robots are arranged in pods with at least 12 feet of open space surrounding them.

The jobs available at Super Sagless and Omega are certainly unique. To learn more, we asked several employees to describe, in their own words, what they love most about their job:

Jade Montalvo works as an assembler at Super Sagless. Each day, she’s assigned to a new area of the facility. “I’ve been able to learn all of the manufacturing processes and components we use here,” she says. “It’s also allowed me to build relationships with all my coworkers. I enjoy being able to support them wherever I’m needed most.”

Maria Hamlin has worked as a Ring Machine Operator for three years. “I enjoy working alone with my machine and the repetitiveness of the job,” says Maria. “It’s relaxing. Our supervisors support us because we all want the same thing — to meet our production goals every day. My ring machine makes that much easier.”

Latasha Henderson has been a Robot Operator at Super Sagless for over 6 years. “I love the independence of this job. I move at my own pace, set my own daily production schedule, and work around friends who really care about me,” says Latosha. “I always enjoy some friendly competition with my partner on the sister robot, too.” These sister robots work side by side to produce the same parent part.

Omega and Super Sagless are both hiring for roles in their manufacturing facilities! You can apply for open positions at Omega here and Super Sagless here, both located in Tupelo, Mississippi. Keep following our blog to learn more about the positions and culture offered at their facilities.