Category Archives: Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight: Maria Medina Alberto

During Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re inviting L&P employees to share about their everyday Leggett life and their heritage.

We’d like to introduce you to Maria Medina Alberto! Maria is currently an 0FC Operator and has been with L&P for 20 years.


“I pray before work. When I arrive at work, I communicate with the prior shift’s team to get an understanding of how the machines are doing and discuss anything I need to take care of. Throughout the day, I help where needed but mainly perform my role, which is feeding strands of foam into a machine. Before it’s time to leave, I work with my team to clean the area and leave it in good condition for the next shift.”

When asked what she enjoys most about work, Maria shared that she enjoys learning new things every day. When she’s not at work, she loves to spend time with her granddaughter.

“My granddaughter is my strength and motivation. After work, I spend time with her, and I feel like a child playing with her at the park.”

When sharing about her heritage, Maria said, “I am so proud to be Hispanic, and I feel blessed to be living in this country, even if it is not my country of origin. I love my first language, Spanish, and I feel proud to speak it.”

Meet Our IT Professionals: April and Dustin

At L&P, our Information Technology (IT) professionals often work behind the scenes, enhancing our business systems and processes and providing around-the-clock support to keep us connected.

To celebrate our IT professionals, we’ve been introducing you to some of our amazing colleagues in IT. Today, we’d like you to meet April Ryberg and Dustin Sommer!


April Ryberg, Senior Director of IT Development

April has been with us for 20 years and values the connections she has made across L&P.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

“I enjoy the relationships that I have made with my IT and business colleagues. I also enjoy improving IT and business processes and advancing our technologies.”

What inspired you to start a career in IT?

When I was very young, I received a Timex Sinclair 1000 (a computer) that someone gave to my dad in the early 1980s. I was fascinated with writing BASIC (Beginners’ All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) language programs. I would use my allowance to buy Compute! magazine and would copy the programs into the computer. Initially, I had no external tape drive to save anything, so I would enter the programs again and again, testing my own changes. My passion for development started there, leading me to high school courses and ultimately degrees in computer science from Kansas State University and Pittsburg State University in Kansas.”


Dustin Sommer, Director of IT Governance, Risk, and Compliance

Dustin has been with us for 22 years and is a part of the Information Security team.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

“I enjoy working with and helping people. Generally, the IT field consists of solving problems, and we are called to provide technology solutions to meet business objectives. It is satisfying when I solve an issue or help a person with a new idea or solution. That’s the reward of being an IT professional.”

What inspired you to start a career in IT?

“Like many others, I wasn’t sure what field I wanted to pursue when I started college. I liked math and felt that IT might be a field that would hang around for many years. So, I took my first computer class, and the rest is history. I’ve been blessed to have many opportunities along this journey and still have plenty of learning to do. 

I’ve also been adjunct teaching since 2018 at Missouri Southern State University to prepare future IT professionals. This field is vast with opportunities, and I enjoy seeing the next generation start their journeys in IT.”

Employee Spotlight: Andres Hernandez

During Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re inviting L&P employees to share about their everyday Leggett life and their heritage.


We’d like you to meet Andres Hernandez! Andres is a Crater Operator and has been with L&P for 21 years.

“I enjoy my job because it is very fast-paced and it makes my nights of 10 or 12 hours go by quickly,” said Andres.

“The first thing I do after clocking in is my daily exercises. Then, I inspect my machine and area. After that, I am ready to start crating units all night. When it’s time to go home, my partner and I start scanning our production tags and cleaning for the other shift so they can work in a clean and safe environment.”

When he’s not at work, Andres focuses on family and resting:

“Before work, I spend my time with my family, and after work, I go home and rest. During the weekends, I take my family out or have a get-together at my house so I can have everyone there because my family is very important to me.”

When sharing about his heritage, Andres said, “I am very proud of my Hispanic heritage! I am a hard worker, a survivor, and all I want is to give my family and myself what my parents couldn’t give me. All we want is the American Dream!”

Meet Our IT Professionals: Darren and Mario

At L&P, our Information Technology (IT) professionals often work behind the scenes, enhancing our business systems and processes and providing around-the-clock support to keep us connected.

IT Professionals Day is September 19, and we want you to meet some of our amazing colleagues in IT!


Darren Jones, IT Support Supervisor

Darren has been with L&P for four and a half years, and his team manages all the physical IT-related needs of the branches. They primarily support our ECS (Elite Comfort Solutions) branches and assist others as needed.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

“Sharing knowledge and working with my colleagues to resolve problems brings me joy. I also like socializing with our end users, because over time, you create relationships with them. Offering peace of mind to an end user by resolving their IT issues is a driving force.”

What inspired you to start a career in IT?

“In the late 1990s, I discovered a computer game called QUAKE and therein found a community of friends, many of whom were in IT. I learned to build my first computer, and through conversations with my QUAKE brethren, I realized that I found the career I wanted to pursue.”


Mario Sever, IT Director for EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa)

Mario has been with us for 19 years and enjoys working with our teams across the globe.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

“I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work with L&P partners and team members around the world. I enjoy helping them by supporting their businesses with IT tools.”

What inspired you to start a career in IT?

“When I was in primary school, my father bought me a Commodore 64 (a computer), which influenced me the most in choosing IT. I started with fun things like gaming, and after a few months, I began programing in BASIC (Beginners’ All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) language programs. Finally, I went to university for IT and started a career.”

Meet Our IT Professionals: Jason and Julie

At L&P, our Information Technology (IT) professionals often work behind the scenes, enhancing our business systems and processes and providing around-the-clock support to keep us connected.

IT Professionals Day is September 19, and we want you to meet some of our amazing colleagues in IT!


Jason Tyler, Principal Security Architect

Jason has been with us for 23 years and enjoys working with the many dedicated and talented people at L&P.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

“While I enjoy the technical aspects and challenges of security architecture, what truly sets Leggett apart is its culture and willingness to continuously improve. My role serves as a catalyst to bring many people together to create a secure environment for the company to grow while enabling business processes to function.”

What inspired you to start a career in IT?

“At nine years old, I fell in love with DOS 3.2 (an operating system). Ted, my mentor and friend, took my DOS manual and put a line through all the commands that were deemed too dangerous to run, so naturally, I ran a few of them and formatted a few system disks as a result. Making mistakes and learning from them have taught me many valuable lessons and inspired me to continue to expand my IT knowledge.

In high school, I had opportunities to work with high-end Silicon Graphics Indy and Octane machines and run a Bulletin Board System (BBS) at home. At this point, IT was in my blood. I applied for my first job at McDonald’s and was turned down (guess I wasn’t qualified), so I applied at RadioShack and they hired me! The rest is a technical blur, as I’ve worked on thousands of machines and networks.”


Julie Storm, IT Support Analyst III

Julie has been with us for 17 years and is currently Tier 2 Support, which is where IT-related issues go if support beyond what our Service Desk can provide is needed.  

What do you enjoy most about your role?

“Working with a wide variety of people from all over the world is the best part of my job! I get to form long-lasting friendships with the kind of people that you know would always be there to pick you up when you fall (right after they stop laughing at you). These relationships are so important to my job because they help me discover that a problem is forming before it gets too large.

The people in the branches and in sales really help make money for L&P, so keeping those people running is how I contribute.”

What inspired you to start a career in IT?

“I was working at a large tech company, and during the morning production meetings, it became very obvious to me how much impact IT support, whether good or bad, can have on the day-to-day ability of a company to earn money. Also, I was told that I have the face for phone support. That probably was not the compliment I took it to be.”

Meet Our IT Professionals: Bilal and Mark

At L&P, our Information Technology (IT) professionals often work behind the scenes, enhancing our business systems and processes and providing around-the-clock support to keep us connected.

IT Professionals Day is September 19, and we want you to meet some of our amazing colleagues in IT!


Bilal Bhatti, IT Project Manager

Bilal has been with us for two months, so his journey at L&P is just beginning.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

“I enjoy collaboration and continuous learning. Collaboration is important because a project’s success depends on effective teamwork and communication. I also enjoy the continuous learning opportunities, as many projects involve cutting-edge technologies and methodologies. We have the opportunity to stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies, which can be intellectually stimulating.”

What inspired you to start a career in IT?

“Being a problem solver was my inspiration. I love being around technologies and finding creative solutions to use and improve them. This eventually led me to obtain my Bachelor of Science Degree in IT – Networking & Telecommunications 12 years ago from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.”


Mark Taylor, Sr. Global Network Manager

Mark has been with us for a year and served in the U.S. Army and National Guard for 30 years. His team is responsible for “keeping the lights on,” which means ensuring that cables, circuits, and permissions allow for secure and reliable network access to the applications that help L&P make products and move them around.  

What do you enjoy most about your role?

“The best thing at L&P is the people. I really like driving down our time to repair with a team of dedicated engineers and working with many of our vendors to implement best practices, monitor, and troubleshoot. Every day, there’s a new problem, challenge, or project, and that’s why I love IT.”

What inspired you to start a career in IT?

“The constant change and improvement in IT capabilities keeps me excited about work each day.

Fresh out of college, I had two careers — one as a civilian and one as an officer in the National Guard. As a civilian, I started working at Hewlett Packard as an Environmental Health and Safety professional and quickly realized I was actually good at this Unix (an operating system) stuff. I was always writing programs and creating web forms for safety issue reporting. Then, I got a chance to be full-time with the Army and chose IT management as my secondary skill.

One of my favorite times was when I served as a Brigade S-6 (a Signal Officer). I was responsible for the communications systems across a Heavy Armored Cavalry Brigade and was given an opportunity to run the base’s data center. The IT knowledge I gained helped me remain employed as I transitioned back to being a civilian.”

Leading at L&P and Beyond: Terry Sylvester

At L&P, our employees inspire us every day with their leadership and initiative — both at work and beyond.


Today, we’d like to recognize Terry Sylvester! Terry has been with L&P for four years and works in Product Development at our branch in Sparta, Michigan. As a People First Champion for his branch, a successful business owner at Sylvester’s Luxurious Mobile Detailing, and a podcast host for Surviving StartUp, Terry talked to us about leadership, being open to change, and creating opportunities for others:

“Being a leader at L&P opened doors to things I didn’t know or wouldn’t have known in other positions. I’ve learned many things about inclusion from our People First local conversations, and learning about different perspectives has also helped me at my detailing business.”

Terry continued, “Being a leader is everything. If there’s an issue and we can figure it out, let’s do it instead of complaining. People talk about change, but what matters is the effort behind that talk. I also believe that change starts with our kids. There’s a saying that kids are the future, and if that’s the case, why not create great opportunities for them now rather than making them wait?”

With this idea, Terry and a local friend took responsibility and recently hosted a Young Entrepreneurs Expo in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for people ages 17 and under. The event gave area youth an opportunity to build connections, get career advice, and showcase their entrepreneurship.

“The event was amazing, and the turnout was awesome. I never knew how many kids are actually interested in entrepreneurship and already have so much going on,” reflected Terry.

We are proud of and grateful to our employees like Terry who live our L&P values at work and beyond!

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!

Happy Retirement, Robert!

After 27 years of dedicated service to L&P, please join us in extending best wishes to Robert McKinzie on his upcoming retirement!

Robert’s Career at L&P

Robert joined Leggett & Platt in 1996, working in Human Resources (HR) as a Training and Development Consultant. He continued to serve in various HR roles of increasing responsibility, being named Staff Vice President – Labor Relations and Continuous Improvement in 2007. In 2011, he was promoted to Vice President – Operations Services before shifting direction a few years later and being named Vice President, President of Rod & Wire Products in 2018. For the past few years, Robert has served as Vice President – Continuous Improvement, Quality, and EHS for domestic bedding.

Looking Back

We asked Robert to share about his favorite memories and what he enjoyed doing the most at L&P:

It’s difficult to find a favorite memory at Leggett because I’ve had so many of them over the years! One of my favorite memories is from my deployment during the Iraq War in 2004. While I was on the border of Iraq and Kuwait for nearly a year, helping run a base camp, I would routinely receive great care packages from Leggett partners in the HR Department. They would contain everything—food, kind notes, encouragement, and pictures. I also received a personal letter from Harry Cornell that thanked me for my military service! He was retired and the Chairman of the Board at that time. The level of care that our company takes to show appreciation for its partners really impressed me.

I have loved every job I’ve been blessed to have at Leggett. I just finished listening to the Women in Leadership discussion with Leggett’s women Board of Directors, and something they said hit home for me. The group was asked what they would tell their “younger self,” and the response was to enjoy the journey—it’s about the journey and not the destination! 

Leggett is a company that will provide you with opportunities. Don’t hesitate to raise your hand and take on new challenges. Don’t be afraid to fail—fail fast, learn from it, and grow. Find people to mentor you, and also, find people you can mentor.

Looking Forward

In retirement, Robert plans to dedicate his time to his personal businesses while also continuing to mentor and support young people in recovery. As one of their bigger projects, Robert and his wife, Mandi, are currently renovating an old hotel building in Leitchfield, Kentucky, into an event center, a restaurant, and Airbnb rentals.

We wish you all the best, Robert!

Happy Administrative Professionals Day!

April 26 is Administrative Professionals Day, and we want to say thank you to the amazing administrative professionals at L&P. You do so much for us—you keep us connected and organized, ensure we’re paid, and much more. We admire and appreciate you!

In honor of Administrative Professionals Day, we invited some of our employees to share what they enjoy most about what they do at L&P. Check out what they shared below.

Amy Robinett
Senior Fixed Asset Accounting Clerk

The best aspect of my job has always been the people I work with. 

Throughout my years at Leggett, I have cultivated and fostered many friendships. These relationships have helped me develop better communication skills and aided me in my commitment to do my best for the company.

Anjali Saini
Human Resources Assistant

One of the most enjoyable aspects of being an administrative professional at L&P is the ability to collaborate with others. People from all levels in the organization come to me for help with their various needs in the office.

No two days are the same, and every day has a new challenge. I enjoy the diversity of tasks and the unexpected challenges, as they make my days very interesting. In a Human Resources role, I learn a little bit of everything—whether I’m learning from my manager, from collaborating with other assistants, or by solving problems and tackling projects. I enjoy being able to jump in to support the company in any way I can.

Carla Oliveira
Customer Service Assistant

A cada oportunidade novos conhecimentos, a cada desafio uma nova vitória. É disso que gosto em fazer parte do administrativo da Leggett, em cada setor que já tive o prazer de trabalhar percebo meu desenvolvimento e me sinto profissionalmente reconhecida. Feliz por ter a oportunidade de estar aqui, feliz por fazer parte do time de vendas e feliz por fazer parte dessa família top que é a Leggett Brasil. 

English Translation: Every opportunity brings new knowledge, and every challenge is a new victory. That’s why I like to be an L&P administrative professional. In every sector I’ve had the pleasure of working in, I’ve noticed my development and feel professionally recognized. I’m happy to have the opportunity to be here, happy to be part of the sales team, and happy to be part of this top family that is Leggett Brazil.

Catherine Lovell
HR & Payroll Officer

I have worked at the Ammanford, UK, branch for 2 years, and I can honestly say it has been a great experience.

At Leggett & Platt, I have felt supported and encouraged within my role by my manager, Clare Rees, and given opportunities to develop my skill set, which is very important to me. Working with a strong and supportive team in a progressive culture makes coming to work a pleasure. I am looking forward to developing my role further at L&P.

Cheryl Jones
Senior Audit Coordinator

What I enjoy most about being an administrative professional at L&P is my department and the people I get to work with every day. I honestly work with some of the best people in Internal Audit. We are close to each other and get together at and outside of work. It feels like a big family. They know that, whatever they need, I am going to do what I can to help them. Sometimes, it feels like I have 28 extra kids, and you know you would do anything for your kids.

That is reciprocated tenfold, as they go out of their way to show me love and appreciation each day. Last year for my 35th anniversary with L&P, current and previous coworkers arranged for me to be showered with love and appreciation for the 35 days leading up to my anniversary. I can’t even begin to share how many ways they’ve showed their appreciation throughout the years, and I honestly can’t imagine working in any other department. 

Kelly Garant
Engineering Assistant

As an administrator in the automotive industry, I enjoy being in an important and supportive role that allows me to work with people at all levels in the organization. I also really enjoy how my position offers a lot of variety—one day is rarely the same as the next.

My mantra is fostering a fun, friendly, and positive work atmosphere, as well as advocating for teamwork and team spirit.

Kelly Taylor
Sr. Credit Maintenance Support Clerk

I truly love working at Leggett & Platt. It’s a great forward-thinking company, and the people I work with are the best part. It’s a very comfortable, yet professional, environment.

We all work together as a team to provide support to our credit management, branch locations, and customers. I love having a variety of tasks that make each day different. 

Nicoleta Cretu
Management Assistant

As an administrative professional at L&P, I enjoy helping others. Many times, I’m the first point of contact for my colleagues, providing support to help solve their problems.

In my 12 years at L&P, I’ve taken on an increasing number of roles and responsibilities at the request of management, and I’ve carried out these duties to the best of my abilities. This enabled me to contribute to the company’s growth and my personal development.

My position comes with evolving challenges, which I see as opportunities for learning and growth. I enjoy taking on new tasks that challenge me to use my skills in new ways or to develop new ones. When a new challenge arises, I am eager to find the best solution for everyone.

Teresa Robertson
Short Term Disability Claims Administrator

I enjoy the opportunity to meet and assist employees at Corporate and at branches throughout the United States. 

I especially enjoy having a job which gives me the opportunity to work in an environment that feels like family. I am blessed that work relationships have turned into friendships that I will keep long past my career at L&P.