In 1988, Mike Larson began his career as a Mechanical Development Engineer for the Honeywell Defense Systems Division in their Precision Weapons department. In 1992, he transitioned to Lou Rich as the Engineering Manager and moved on to become the President and CEO of Lou-Rich in January 2001. Three years later he became the President and CEO of Innovance. He has a Mechanical Engineering degree from the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. After acquiring his bachelor’s degree, he acquired his Master of Business Administration degree from the Carlson School of Management.
Mike enjoys how passionate his coworkers are and he’s excited to see the company grow with that passion. After work hours, Mike enjoys spending time with his wife, Vicki. In addition, he enjoys boating, winter skiing, and traveling.
“For many of our customers, we are their “go-to” supplier. We are trusted to provide products with outstanding quality, delivery, and service. Customers feel very satisfied that they are receiving high value in the products and services we provide.”
Steve has been the CFO of Innovance since 1993. From 2014-2018, he gained the title of General Manager for Lou-Rich as well. He graduated from Riverland Community College in 1982 with an associate degree. After which, he attended Mankato State University and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting while earning a minor in Computer Science.
He enjoys the size of the company and the culture that comes with it. In his free time, you’ll find him playing with his grandchildren, tending to his garden, or fishing a beautiful lake.
“Always amazed at the ability of ESOP-Owners to solve issues/problems that come up in manufacturing a product for our customers. “
Cindy started working for Innovance in 2002 and her position with the company is Financial Controller. She graduated from Winona State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. Cindy says that working for an employee-owned company creates a unique and rewarding culture.
She enjoys the variety of daily challenges her role provides, in addition to being part of a team that promotes the company’s growth and vision for the future. Outside the office, Cindy loves spending time with her husband and their two sons. She also enjoys gardening, going to concerts, motorcycle rides, snowmobiling, and playing bass guitar in her church’s praise team.
“This environment promotes a higher level of accountability and strong sense of responsibility of work performed by every employee.”
Jim began his career with Innovance in 2020 as the Human Resources Manager. He has a BS degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato. He appreciates interacting with committed coworkers who are dedicated to the success of the organization and each other.
In his free time, Jim enjoys spending time with his family, music, and completing home improvement projects.
“The team is fantastic. Collectively it is the best group I have ever worked with.”
Greg started at Lou-Rich in February 2016 as the National Sales Manager and transitioned into his current role of Sales & Marketing Director in the fall of 2018. He obtained a BA degree from South Central College in Mankato, MN and he is Dale Carnegie Professional Selling certified.
The culture of strong collaboration is what Greg enjoys most about working for an employee-owned company. Furthermore, Greg appreciates that each day can look very different. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife Angie, seeing grandkids, reading, and movies. In the non-winter months, you can find him refining his golf game as much as possible.
“Each day can look very different as I work with the marketing staff, sales teams, and business leaders for each of our companies, and I truly love that variety.”
Ryan started with Lou-Rich in 1999 as a painter and went on to lead the department in 2009. After six years, he transitioned to the lead position in the assembly department. In July of 2021, he landed his current role as the Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator for Innovance. Ryan has a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from York University in York, NE. He appreciates working with people and building working relationships with them.
When he’s not working, Ryan enjoys spending time with his family, volunteering at church, and traveling for fun. He is also an avid golfer and fly fisherman.
“I enjoy feeling like I am working for myself and my co-workers, not someone else. I believe it makes a big difference in how much we all care about the success of the company knowing we are fully vested in it.”
Ryan joined the Innovance team as the Information Technology Manager in Fall of 2022. He received his Associate of Arts degree from Riverland Community College and then his Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology Management from University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, WI.
In his free time, he enjoys traveling and playing board games such as Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, or Carcassonne with his wife. Ryan is a tech enthusiast and enjoys using and testing the newest gadgets.
“There is more ownership in what I do. I am directly benefiting from the fruits of my labor. There is an inherit ‘we’ instead of ‘me’ mentality to the task at hand.”
Calvin Leisenheimer | Lead Principal Engineer, R&D
Calvin started as an Engineering Intern at Lou-Rich & ALMCO in the summer of 2015, later working as an Electrical Designer/Programmer at ALMCO from 2015-2018. He rejoined the team in June 2022 as the Innovance Lead Principal Engineer. Calvin obtained his BS degree in Manufacturing Engineering and a minor in Technical Communications from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
What he enjoys most about his job is being presented with engineering problems, applying what he knows to help solve them, and seeing positive results after a project has been finished. Outside the office, Calvin enjoys riding motorcycle, playing guitar, home projects, and spending time with family and friends.
“Everyone plays their own part in helping the company succeed. Each employee-owner has a good sense of ownership because they are part of the bigger picture.”