Class of 2010

Leonard C. Britten
For nearly 40 years, Leonard C. Britten (Lynn) was Sales Manager of Connor Forest Industries.  Mr. Britten started working as a teenager on weekends at the mill in Laona, Wisconsin loading boxcars with lumber and flooring for twenty-five cents an hour. Later Mr. Britten would go on to college in Wausau for accounting and finance.
 
Mr. Britten's career spans the rough days of early logging, the depression, World War II and perhaps some of the most important periods in the sports flooring industry as new systems based on performance were first implemented.  Today, as the MFMA now seeks to articulate those standards, it is important to acknowledge the strategies that brought them to market by inducting Mr. Britten to the MFMA Hall of Fame.
 
After college Mr. Britten was called upon to help build the sawmill near Wakefield, Michigan in what would become Connorville, Michigan in March of 1933. He worked closely with Gordon R.P. Connor during this period, living behind the company store in Connorville. Every fall he would drive W.D. Connor from the company headquarters in Marshfield, Wisconsin down to Arizona where the two would discuss a variety of issues, not the least of which was sales. Every spring he would drive W.D. back to Marshfield and discuss the action plans they had set out on the drive down to Arizona.
 
It was on these trips that W.D. came to appreciate Britten's keen sense and aptitude for sales strategy. In 1936, W.D. asked Britten to move to Marshfield and work with Sales Manager Gus Bulgrn. Britten worked with Bulgrn for 2 ½ years before taking over as Sales Manager for all lumber and flooring at Connor Forest Industries, a position he would hold until his retirement in 1975.
 
Mr. Britten was responsible for many strategic moves.  He was a part of Connor's first patent acquisition (the padded sleeper system) and also partly responsible for defending that patent within the industry many times. Britten was also involved in the purchase of Connor's Channel System patent. Responsible for some of Connor's most important marketing strategies, Britten successes included the branding of "Connor 'Laytite'" and the slogan, "Three little words, Connor 'Laytite' flooring" - a slogan based upon a popular song of the 1930's.
 
Mr. Britten served the MFMA Board of Directors on behalf of Connor Forest Industries in the late 1950's and 1960's and served on the Board of Connor Forest Industries. Britten would assist Gordon R.P. Connor with the founding of Peoples State Bank and become Chairman of the Board in the 1990's and he is still active as an Honorary Member of the Board of Directors. Over the years, Mr. Britten oversaw the sales force of Connor's most legendary sales team - Hank Tank, Ross Donhauer, Ken Peshaw, Fred Taylor, John Hill and Rudy Zulke.
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