Category Archives: Employee Spotlight

Making a Difference, One Mask at a Time

When Deb Veronda learned about the shortage of masks during the COVID-19 crisis, she got right to work. Deb is the HR Assistant at our Sponge Cushion facility in Morris, Illinois, and she wanted to help make the office a safe and healthy place to work.

“When the pandemic began,” said Deb, “all I kept hearing on the news were reports of shortages of personal protective equipment. I knew I had to get busy sewing to protect those dear to me.”

Deb has used her own resources to make hundreds of cloth masks – not only for her coworkers but also for her family, friends, and healthcare workers in her local community.

“I love to quilt in my spare time, so I have quite a stash of material. I began pulling fun fabrics with the hopes of lifting the spirits of the tireless souls working on the frontlines.”

To recognize her efforts, Deb earned L&P’s SafeGuard Leadership Award for going above and beyond to look out for others.

And Deb’s outlook is inspiring. “I have always believed in kindness,” she said. “If we could all be kind and take care of one another, this world would be a much better place.”

Thank you, Deb!

Choosing Positivity Amidst Change

We talked to Cathy Johns from our Corporate HR team about working through various seasons of change throughout her career at L&P.

Can you tell us about your role at L&P?

I began my Leggett career as a general clerk almost 35 years ago. My dad was head of transportation and I’d help out in the offices during the summer. As the company grew, a lot of doors were opened to me.

Eventually, I earned my current role as the Qualified Benefits Manager in HR. Our group provides administration for retirement plans, as well as compliance and integration for all of L&P’s benefit plans.

This includes things like record keeping, calculation of benefits, assistance in setting up plans with payroll, processing paperwork, and communicating with enrolled participants. We also manage the administration of L&P’s Discount Stock Plan. All of this must be completed appropriately to ensure we aren’t being discriminatory and are maintaining compliance with a variety of laws and regulations.

A lot has changed over the years. At one point, the company had over 60 different benefit plans with many vendors due to all of the acquisitions we’d made. They eventually merged into 8 retirement plans, and we have a lot more employees taking advantage of them now.

You’ve obviously experienced a lot of change firsthand. How do you maintain a positive outlook rather than focusing on uncertainty?

For me, it’s all about perspective. With a recent companywide meeting, our leaders spoke directly about change. But things have been changing for a long time. As a company, L&P has been through so many different permutations over the years. Having experienced it, I’m confident we’re just in another season of change.

It’s normal to have feelings of uncertainty. However, it’s more productive to focus on the things you can control. Do what you can do, put your best face on it, and keep moving forward.

What have you enjoyed most about working at L&P?

I love a challenge. Every role within our company comes with its own set of problems to work through — mine just happen to be about benefits. The position is a great fit for me because I get really excited about working in spreadsheets. If that’s all I had to do all day, I’d be a happy clam!

Most importantly though, I see many unique qualities woven through the heart of Leggett. They’re consistent, despite all the changes we’ve seen over the years. You can count on things to be done a certain way here. Decisions are always made with our employees in mind, with our customers in mind — and with doing the right thing in mind.

Q&A with a New Flooring Territory Manager

Dana Nevens was recently hired as a Territory Manager for our Flooring Products Division. We spoke with him about his first few months at L&P.

1. Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I’ve worked in the flooring industry for approximately 12 years. Most of those were spent in the hard-surface manufacturing side, which includes hardwoods and ceramic tile. Most recently, I had a national sales position with a relatively new company. I learned a lot from that job, but the schedule was very demanding for my family. I was looking for a change and learned about L&P. Since starting in August, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the customers in my territory — which includes Connecticut, Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.

2. How has the transition gone so far?

I was hired to replace Jon Thierfeld when he retired from L&P. His retailers were very comfortable with him because he’d been working with them for over 25 years. Thankfully, I was able to travel the field with him for several weeks before he left. This allowed him to share the ins and outs of his customers in great detail — I still refer to those notes on a daily basis. It really helped me to earn the trust of my customers and to ensure them I would put in the same effort as he had to make sure their needs are met.

Since Jon left, I’ve found my sales support team here in Fort Worth to be just as accessible. I’ll never have all the answers, but they’re always a phone call away as I learn more about L&P’s culture and the way we do things.

3. What does a normal work day look like for you?

The majority of my week is spent connecting with as many of our customers as possible. I try to meet face-to-face whenever I can, so much of my time is spent in the car traveling to various parts of New England.

I enjoy introducing retailers to new products they’ve never seen before. If they’re an existing customer, I also evaluate their sales programs to determine what’s working, what’s not working, and make changes to increase their profits. The rest of my days are spent responding to calls or emails from customers who need to place orders and get answers to technical product questions. Every day is unique and I really like the challenge.

4. Has anything surprised you about L&P?

From prior interactions with the company, I only knew L&P as a flooring and underlayment supplier. When I learned the scope of our products and everything our company is involved in, it was very encouraging. On my team in the Northeast, it isn’t unusual to talk to employees who have been here for over 20 years — something which is very unique in this industry. It speaks well for the company and I’m glad to be a part of it.

Quick Q&A with a Supply & Demand Planner

Corey Turnbow is the Director of Supply & Demand Planning at Elite Comfort Solutions (ECS), a global leader in foam technology acquired by Leggett & Platt this past January.

Corey, who joined the ECS team 5 months ago, plays an essential role in ECS’ supply chain.

1. What does a normal day in your job look like for you?

A normal day consists of helping our facilities ensure that we have the right amount of product to support customer orders. On any given day, I balance my time supporting our operations, customer service, and shipment teams.

From a long-term perspective, I am driving a full Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) process across ECS to help drive strategic plans around balancing our demand and supply for future growth.

2. What do you enjoy most?

I really enjoy the variety, and that my job requires me to be a problem solver. I have to look at the immediate short-term needs of ECS while also planning for long-term growth.

3. What challenges you?

I work in a fast-paced environment, which is challenging and fun at the same time!

4. What do you enjoy most about working at ECS?

I enjoy the people around me. We are young and growing company with opportunities to become better every day. Our leadership team is really engaged and provides great support in helping us achieve our objectives.

How an Engineer is Helping to Revolutionize Mattress Manufacturing

Matt Smallwood peeks up from his computer monitor, breaking an afternoon trance from designing in SolidWorks. “Would you like to see what I’ve been working on for two years?” he asks.

And so, we leave his office and walk down to the shop floor to see the new Gribetz XT9 Stitch Bridge machine. Matt, a Research Engineer for L&P’s Global Systems Group (GSG), started in his role in 2011.

One of the challenges with this project was finding needles long enough to pierce through foam. The team got creative and made their own.

As he talks through the functionality of the machine, he quickly redirects any praise and instead highlights the collaborative efforts of the team. “I’ve learned so much from Michael James, our resident sewing expert, and Terry Myers, who led the project. This machine wouldn’t have been built without them.”

What is the Gribetz XT9 Stitch Bridge machine?

It’s a thread-based laminating machine introduced just this year by Gribetz International. In an industry accustomed to gluing together mattress comfort layers, this machine stitches them together with thread. Not only is thread more cost-effective than glue, it’s a better-quality product. Continue reading

A Day in the Life of an International Sales Representative

Since starting at L&P in 2014, Miguel Rivero has been committed to his customers. As an International Sales Representative for our Machinery Division, Miguel serves over 50 customers in Latin America when they require replacement parts for bedding machinery and systems.

8:30am: Miguel starts his day in the office, sending emails and making phone calls. Instead of waiting for customers to contact him, he proactively reaches out to them to ensure their machinery is running smoothly. Since Miguel is bilingual, he’s able to successfully assist customers who speak both Spanish and English. “Many of our customers’ machines operate 24 hours a day. You can imagine how much the parts wear down over time. My job is to help them replace those parts as efficiently as possible, so as not to impact their operations.”

10:00am: After checking in with customers, Miguel heads down to the parts room to double-check SKU numbers and take pictures of various machine parts. With numerous quilting, sewing, packaging, and specialized machinery to support, the parts room contains over 5,000 unique parts!

1:20pm: Back in his office, Miguel helps the customer service team by boxing a few orders for shipment. He also organizes marketing materials for his next trade show.

Continue reading

A Day in the Life of L&P’s Exhibits & Events Team

With 83 tradeshows planned this year, L&P’s Exhibits & Events team is constantly on the go. Today we shadowed Autumn Bjugstad, Project Manager, to give you a glimpse into a typical workday for their staff — there’s rarely a dull moment.

8:25 am: After grabbing her coffee, Autumn gets to work designing a tradeshow booth space. Members of the team are responsible for their assigned events from start to completion. This includes event registrations, managing budgets, designing booth spaces, coordinating signage and video production, and facilitating shipments.


10:15 am: Autumn discusses color palette options with Kyleigh Newell, Account Representative. Her team meets regularly to collaborate on design details and provide each other with project updates.

Continue reading

Everyday Life According to a VP of Sales: “No Two Days Are The Same”

This month, we continue to highlight people, places, and products within our Furniture Products segment. Today we’re putting the spotlight on Patrick Third, who works within our Seating Components division.

Meet Patrick Third, VP of Sales for the Central Region.

Every day, Patrick travels across the central United States to help bring comfort solutions to furniture. He works to sell not just recliners or rockers, but also the sinuous wire (springs), webbing, and foam edging in stationary furniture.

What was your background prior to L&P?

I guess it starts in college where I played football for WKU after many years in sports. I started as a quarterback and ended as a cornerback.

Patrick at Interzum 2019, the world’s leading trade fair for furniture production and interior design.

(A couple of fun facts for sports fans: 1. I played for Jack Harbough. 2. My position coach was Willie Taggart who now coaches my favorite team FSU. Go Noles!)

I bartended in college, which I believe was the greatest preparation for my upcoming future in customer service. I also became a carpenter, performing various upgrades to homes and businesses. I specialized in installing custom hardwood flooring from start to finish.

What does a normal day in sales look like for you?

Coffee. Then maybe a little more coffee.

Depending on the various projects on my plate, my day begins with my follow-ups. This means I’m constantly in touch with our customers, following up on products I introduced to them. I also engage with our engineers on the various projects they have in the works.

I’d say I travel close to 60–70% of the time. My sales responsibilities cover the central United States, from the Canadian border down to the Mexican border. The majority of my travel is focused in Mississippi to Northeastern Tennessee.

I’m also consistently communicating with my team. Each day starts with touching base and offering my support on projects in motion. Being available to them is key.

Also, coffee. Continue reading

Bringing Nondestructive Testing to Life: Meet Megan Alger at Pegasus

Throughout May, we’re highlighting people, places, and products within our Specialized Products segment. Today we’re putting the spotlight on Megan Alger, who works in Penetrant Inspection at Pegasus in Middletown, Connecticut.

She may have joined the Pegasus team just a few months ago, but Megan Alger is already brimming with experience, knowledge, and excitement about her role in nondestructive testing (NDT).

Every day, Megan employs various techniques to evaluate the properties of our materials and products without causing damage, and she ensures the products are safe for aerospace applications. Talk about an important job!

Tell us about your background.

I have worked in nondestructive testing (NDT) for about four years and on a variety of products – from 2-ton components down to tiny little 9/16” ball bearings. I’m fortunate to have a passion that also runs in my family. My dad is an ASNT LIII. (ASNT is the American Society of Nondestructive Testing. ASNT serves as a certifying body along with many other roles. So, an ASNT LIII is a level III, which is the highest certification possible in NDT.)

After watching my dad, I was inspired at a very young age to pursue NDT. On Saturdays as a kid, I’d get to help him run some parts through the fluorescent penetrant inspection (FPI) process, and then on Mondays, my dad’s employees would reprocess the same components, so I could get feedback regarding my findings. I have been hooked since then. Continue reading

Employee Spotlight: James Dixon Celebrates Over 50 Years with Solon Specialty Wire

Throughout April, we’re highlighting people, places, and products within our Industrial Products segment.

Meet James Dixon. He started his career with Solon Specialty Wire in 1967.

James is a Die Finisher, which means he prepares the machines to draw wire. Over the years, he’s worked hard to perfect his craft. “I like what I do. It’s a very interesting business. You’d never believe how many different industries we support by making and supplying wire.”

Solon Specialty Wire, located in Solon, Ohio, produces round specialty wires and flat-shaped, non-ferrous wires for the construction, telecommunication, automotive, food packaging, and medical industries.

Since 2009, Solon has made environmental sustainability a priority, focusing on many projects such as reducing packaging materials and scrap steel, as well as reducing transportation costs.

James has seen a lot of changes during the last 50 years, some rapid and some more gradual. “At one time, most of the materials we manufactured had to be patented (heat-treated through a furnace). Steel rod has become more durable, and our business has gotten more sophisticated.”

Still, the team at Solon has remained committed to quality. According to James, “We’re very focused on using high-quality materials, and we do a lot more testing now than earlier years. It’s all in an effort to ensure the reliability and consistency of our wire.”