• With Montisa since: 2017
  • Industry experience: The first half of my career I spent at Steelcase in multiple roles. I spent a couple of years at Nucraft in-between tech gigs.
  • Other experience: After Steelcase I jumped into the high-tech space with a focus on wireless technology; specifically wireless controls, wireless networking, and wireless power. I've been fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in the development and leadership of several high-tech start-ups.
  • Most valuable skills: A sense of humor, passion for the role, strategic planning, and vision.
  • Biggest flaw: I struggle with patience. I'm still working on it after all of these years.
  • Something I’m obsessed with: Driving atmosphere – how people feel and react to the environments they work within. Atmosphere has been forgotten in today's focus of collaboration, technology integration, and the open plan/privacy balance. Those issues are certainly important and most furniture manufacturers, including Montisa, can provide solutions to address these needs. But, there is a piece missing - we call it atmosphere. Pride and feel of the workplace as it embodies and reflects the organization is what atmosphere is all about and I want Montisa to be the driving force in bringing that to the forefront.
  • Something I’m excited to be learning about right now: VR wireless broadband throughput (seriously). 60GHz is going to allow for a new level of group interaction and wireless connectivity that is going to change the virtual landscape experience. The throughput will allow for multiple people to experience virtual environments together and simultaneously and without the wired connections to the goggles or other input devices.
  • Professional inspirations: I’ve been fortunate to have been mentored by some great individuals during my career, but five certainly stand out. All of them have passed on principles and sage advice that has had a profound impact on me. They include: Edmund X. “Bud” Klipa, William “Dusty” Field, Robert Bockheim, Fred Hubacker, and Lawrence Leete.
  • Biggest Challenge with Montisa: Montisa is an interesting opportunity. I’ve created and led start-ups for the past 15 years, either wholly-owned companies or P&L’s within established organizations. Each time the development was from ground zero; Montisa is different. This is a company that has been sitting dormant in the contract furniture space for the past 25 years, so the opportunity to apply my skill-set in building companies to one that has a branded history is an exciting challenge. The foundation of the company was built 111 years ago and there's a rich heritage to pull from related to storytelling. Blending the storied past with the present, and doing it so that it has relevance today is the biggest challenge I see in leading this company.
  • Favorite Montisa product: The Hendrix Desk. I love the color combinations you can apply to it to really make a statement. I'm also impressed with the manual height adjustability with the product. It just stands out in the crowded field of desking.
  • Favorite quote: “Hustle until your haters ask if you’re hiring.” I have this on my wall in my office. There are always naysayers in the corners who look for you to fail. I like the karmic balance that the quote intones.
  • Favorite band: Minus the Bear - if you haven't heard this band, pull up "Planet of Ice" or "Infinity Overhead"...this is a band that changes the whole sonic-scape of how music is timed and blended. They have their own distinct sound. Sadly, they've just announced their farewell tour as the band is breaking up and calling it quits.
  • Favorite album: "Frontiers" by Journey - I mean, prior to this album they had two video games designed around them as a band - no other band can claim this. This is the last great rocker from them. After this album, Perry in his infinite wisdom fired Steve Smith and Ross Vallory and went on to go full mainstream pop with "Raised on Radio". Tragic.
  • What album I'm listening to now: I've mellowed out my music choices recently (I've put the funk down for awhile), and found this little gem (actually Mark's son turned us on to this band). "Good Nature" is a 2015 album by the band Turnover. It's a mellow alternative sound and is great for background in the office.
  • What I do off the clock: Try to stay relevant in my grown children’s lives; adopt more of an athletic lifestyle via bicycle and kayak because the sedentary approach has been a big failure; and avoid those instances and situations that cause my wife to give me her eye roll and exasperated sigh.

Larry Leete listens...