Experience Speaks: Larry Owen

  • Sr. VP, Adhesives & Polymers Div., Franklin Adhesives & Polymers
  • Management style | Empowering
  • Motto | If you're gonna be lucky, you have to think lucky — Luke Appling
  • How did you get into the pressure-sensitive business? I have been with Franklin Intl. for nearly three decades. I started in the early 1980s as a lab technician.

  • What's the biggest threat to the pressure-sensitive industry right now? The continued consolidation of the market. Consolidation moves this market further away from its specialty nature.

  • How do you retain good employees? It's about challenging them to grow as individuals so we can grow as a company.

  • What do you know now that you wish you had known when you were just starting out? Change is good thing!

  • What is the key to growing a business in a bad economy? Innovation. Successful innovation will allow you to create your own good economy.

  • What management books have influenced you? Good to Great by Jim Collins, The Goal by by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox, Unshackled Leadership by Scott Hunter.

  • What does your company do for customers to keep them coming back? We earn their trust.

  • What's the best advice you ever got? Surround yourself with people who take their work seriously but not themselves — those who work hard and play hard.

  • What sustainability efforts has your company made? In addition to using all water-based technology, our division works diligently to create specific green products to meet current and future regulations. We launched a group of recycling-compatible PSAs and are coming out with an APE-free line of PSAs. We developed the first formaldehyde-free PVA wood adhesive and are constantly striving to keep introducing new green products.

  • Who is your personal hero? I grew up a Cincinnati Reds fan during the days of the Big Red Machine. Johnny Bench was not only a great player but a great leader, too. In high school I read his book, From Behind Home Plate, and it inspired me to dream big and not give up until you have achieved your dream. My dream was to play professional baseball. One day I found myself face to face with Johnny in one of those wimpy pushing matches baseball players like to call fights. Good thing he didn't throw a punch at me…first, had he hit me, he probably would have killed me, and second, I don't know if I could have thrown a punch back at my idol. We'll never know!

  • What's your hobby? Fishing…leaving the dock and trying to figure out where the fish will be and how best to catch them is a great challenge. The funny thing is I really don't like to eat fish, so I always catch and release them; it drives my wife crazy!

About Franklin Adhesives & Polymers

  • Div. of Franklin Intl., 2020 Bruck St., Columbus, OH 43207; 800-877-4583

  • www.franklinadhesivesandpolymers.com

  • Founded 1935; 2 plants; 350 employees

  • Specialty | Emulsion polymerization

Who is your personal hero? Share your perspective. Write to yolanda.simonsis@penton.com.


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