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Life@Leggett

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

“I’m Proud of the Teamwork at L&P”

“I help make innersprings at L&P Brazil. I’ve worked here for almost 14 years! I’m proud of the teamwork at L&P. I know that I’m part of a good and welcoming company.”

Josilaine Moreira Alves De Oliveira, Production Specialist

Small Changes Can Make a Big Impact

The very first Earth Day was celebrated in the United States on this day in 1970. In 1990, Earth Day became a global event and continues to be celebrated by millions of people around the world. It’s a day for us to come together to encourage conservation, recycling, and volunteering for the good of our planet.

Today, we invite you to explore ways you can make a difference at home, at work, or within your community. Even the smallest changes can make a big impact.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Before you throw something away, think about whether it can be recycled or repurposed. Did you know that a plastic bottle can take over 450 years to break down in a landfill?
  • Plant a tree. Trees provide shelter and food for animals, and they can provide much-needed shade during hotter months.
  • Turn off the lights and limit your water usage. Try to conserve energy and water by using only what you need.
  • Take a walk! For every mile walked instead of driven, nearly one pound of pollution is kept out of the air.

Happy Earth Day!

2022 Sustainability Report

We share an aligned vision for the future of Leggett & Platt. Our mission is to build businesses and a culture that are sustainable for generations to come.

We recently published our 2022 Sustainability Report. The report provides information about our approach to and performance on the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters that are most important to our business.

As we move through 2022, our key ESG initiatives include:

  • Conducting an ESG materiality assessment to further define the ESG opportunities that provide greatest value to our stakeholders and are the most meaningful to L&P
  • Measuring and reporting our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data
  • Advancing our inclusion, diversity, and equity efforts
  • Evaluating opportunities for establishing key management systems to improve data collection and contribute to broader companywide sustainability advancements
  • Enhancing our supplier assessment process, including a heightened emphasis on labor and social standards and cybersecurity controls

We invite you to read the full report here. Thank you for your support as we continue to build and report on our sustainable practices.