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Leggett Honors Innovation Leaders


J.P. Leggett Innovator Awards at Leggett & Platt’s Technology Forum Honors 12 Employees


November 19, 2008 - Since the creation of the new IDEA (Innovation, Design, Engineering and Acceleration) Center for research and development in 2007, Leggett & Platt has demonstrated a revived commitment to scientific and technological advancement.


Ordinary to Extraordinary

In the past year, the 125-year old components manufacturer has been named among the nation’s top 35 innovative companies in The Wall Street Journal. Their advanced engineering has helped retailers and bedding manufacturers alike by creating high-performance innersprings available at a value price points. Leggett’s revolutionary Starry Night™ Sleep Technology Bed debuted with a bang at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and their innovative applications of eCoupled technology will be showcased at CES 2009.


Leggett’s commitment to innovation is best summed up in the words of CEO and President Dave Haffner, “At Leggett & Platt, we take ordinary materials and turn them into extraordinary products.”


Celebration of Innovation

On October 27, the Fortune 500 company celebrated the past year of groundbreaking developments with the second annual J.P. Leggett Innovator Awards Dinner, held at its headquarters in Carthage, Mo. Named in honor of J.P. Leggett, company founder and inventor of the coiled bedspring, the J.P. Leggett Innovator Award is Leggett & Platt’s highest internal recognition of excellence in technological advancements.


Vincent S. Lyons, head of the IDEA Center and vice president of engineering and product development, started the annual awards in 2007 as part of Leggett’s overall focus on scientific progression. Lyons was inspired by similar internal awards at other industry leading companies that motivated engineers to reach new levels in innovation.


A firm believer that a company must stretch beyond R&D boundaries to truly compete and succeed, Lyons notes that engineers are not the only employees eligible to receive this coveted symbol of excellence. “All employees at Leggett are eligible,” said Lyons. “The only criteria for receiving a J.P. Leggett Innovator Award is that one contributes an idea or innovation that has significant benefit to Leggett & Platt.”


The J.P. Leggett Innovator Awards are given to both individual and team-created innovations. This year’s recipients range from product designers to engineers to heads of marketing. Recipients of the prestigious award were honored with a glass trophy that reads, “In recognition of technological leadership beneficial to Leggett & Platt.”


Awards were given at the J.P. Leggett Innovator Awards Dinner, a formal banquet that kicked off Leggett & Platt’s annual Technology Forum. The Forum reflects the company’s overall focus on product innovation and is currently in its third year. Attendees included senior management, special guests and J.P. Leggett Award recipients.


“In its two years, the coveted award has already inspired Leggett employees to reach new levels in their development of new technologies,” said Lyons. “Exceptional talent across Leggett & Platt is evident within these leading innovations,” he said. “I am proud to be part of such an accomplished work force.”


2008 J.P. Leggett Innovator Award recipients are:


· eCoupled technology 

        · LeRoy Johnson, Senior director, emerging technologies


Johnson received a J.P. Leggett Award for his work with eCoupled, an evolution in traditional energy that delivers power through advanced wireless infrastructure. eCoupled will be showcased by Leggett at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show.


Starry Night Sleep Technology

       • Ryan Chacon, Software controls engineer

       • Niels Mossbeck, Senior director, advanced technologies

       • Mark Quinn, Executive vice president of sales and marketing, bedding group

       • Chuck Steers, Mechanical design engineer

       • Jason Turner, Director of controls & technologies

       • Tom Wells, Jr., Director of engineering strategy & technical support


Chacon, Mossbeck, Quinn, Steers, Turner and Wells received J.P. Leggett Awards for their work in creating and promoting Starry Night Sleep Technology, the first bed to incorporate diagnostic and entertainment technologies to create an intelligent, intuitive and comfortable sleep environment. Starry Night was not only a revolutionary concept that redefined the boundaries of the bedding industry, but was also an international media sensation.


Responder Office Chair

      • Dana Lockwood, Senior seating designer, Indiana Chair Frame business unit


Lockwood received a J.P. Leggett Award for his work with the Responder office chair, an ergonomically-designed office chair that responds intuitively to all body movements and is uniquely engineered, designed and tested to withstand more than one million cycles of 24/7 intensive use.


MAG Dock

      • Jennifer Guerndt, Vice president of marketing, Gamber-Johnson business unit

      • Jason Lewandowski, Vice president of engineering, Gamber-Johnson business unit


Guerndt and Lewandowski received J.P. Leggett Awards for their work in creating and promoting the innovative design and breakthrough technology of the MAG Dock, the industry's first low-density and affordable magnesium docking station. MAG Dock is used in thousands of vehicles worldwide.


ZWAHL (Zero Wall High Leg)

      • Greg Lawson, Chief engineer, Omega Motion business unit


Lawson received a J.P. Leggett Award for his work with Zero Wall High Leg technology, the world’s only high-leg motion mechanism for furniture. Zero Wall High Leg technology utilizes geometry to balance chair operation, ensuring that when reclining, a chair will adjust itself to never come in contact with a wall or other obtrusive objects.


Patients Choice Medical Care Mechanism

      • Glenn Wiecek, Product designer, furniture hardware division


Wiecek received a J.P. Leggett Award for his work on the Patients Choice Medical Care Mechanism, a new mechanism for coupling a seat back to a base. The Patients Choice Medical Care Mechanism provides for smooth and simultaneous extension and retraction in seating items including sofas, loveseats and modular sectionals, and is often used in medical chairs and hospital waiting room chairs for patients and visiting family members.


About Leggett & Platt

Leggett & Platt (NYSE: LEG) is a FORTUNE 500 diversified manufacturer that conceives, designs and produces a broad variety of engineered components and products that can be found in virtually every home, office, retail store and automobile. The company serves a broad suite of customers that comprise a “Who’s Who” of U.S. manufacturers and retailers. The 125-year-old firm’s continuing operations are composed of 22 business units, 24,000 employee-partners and more than 250 facilities located in 20 countries.


Leggett & Platt is North America’s leading independent manufacturer of: a) components for residential furniture and bedding; b) retail store fixtures and point of purchase displays; c) components for office furniture; d) drawn steel wire; e) automotive seat support and lumbar systems; f) carpet underlay; g) adjustable beds; and h) bedding industry machinery for wire forming, sewing and quilting.


For more information, please visit Leggett’s Web site at


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