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Home : Volume 24 : Fall 1997 :
Distinguished Service Award for Larry R. Johnson

Larry R. Johnson

Larry R. Johnson
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Larry R. Johnson's ability to not only generate concepts but bring them to reality and success is the driving force behind a remarkable engineering career.

Johnson is vice president of engineering at J-Star Industries in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. J-Star is manufacturer of more than 50 products for the agricultural industry, specializing in equipment to unload silos, feed cattle and handle animal waste.

As a member of the management team, Johnson assembled and managed a new and profitable company which has grown to market leadership within the farmstead equipment industry. He developed an engineering and product development organization with the flexibility to adapt to change. Johnson's plan incorporated product teams of professional engineers and technicians with complete responsibility for the major product lines.

Johnson directed the development of new and refined products for several market segments which helped fuel a growth in sales of more than 300 percent. He conceived, implemented and progressively upgraded a company-wide computer-aided design and documentation system that puts all engineering documentation on-line and available to each company department, including the shop floor.

He implemented a company-wide product safety program, including a product safety committee as its foundation.

Always with an eye on the future, Johnson personally recruited, coached and developed entry-level engineers whose careers ultimately progressed to management.

Johnson earned a BS in agricultural and mechanical engineering from UW-Madison in 1969, his MS in agricultural engineering in 1979 and an MBA from Detroit University in 1975.

Johnson has also been an active member of professional organizations including ASAE and EMI, which recognized him as Engineer of the Year in 1987. He is active in local church activities, including elder board, building committee, Sunday school teaching, Christian school board president, and youth and music programs. He has been an active supporter of the Biological Systems Engineering Program, serving on the industry advisory committee and engineering development committee.

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Date last modified: Friday, 26-Sep-1997 12:00:00 CDT

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