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Rocket Industrial's Employee Spotlight series highlights a different employee every month, offering an inside look at our company culture and the awesome people who work here.
This month's employee spotlight features Regional Sales Manager, Steve Larsen. Steve has worked at Rocket for 19 years, and in his time here has been a vital member of our sales team. Steve will be retiring from Rocket on December 31, 2021. Below, Steve recaps moments of his career.
Describe your role.
I am a Regional Sales Manager and cover Illinois, Southern Wisconsin, and Eastern Iowa. I oversee a team of eight sales reps and have branch responsibilities of managing the warehouse at our Belvidere, IL location.
What is something you are proud to have accomplished at Rocket?
I achieved four President Club awards with Rocket Industrial. I was promoted to regional/branch manager with Rocket eight years ago. I was the first to receive a branch manager position outside of the Wausau area.
What are some current packaging trends you are seeing?
The current shortage in the labor force is leading to a higher demand for equipment and an increased interest in automation. There are also rising prices and longer lead times. Popular equipment includes case sealers, stretch wrappers, labeling machines, strapping tools, and conveyors.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love Wisconsin sports teams and spend most of the time outside of work with family, golfing, traveling, and helping others through volunteer work. Below is a picture from the 2021 Door of Hope Non-Profit Golf Outing at Maple Bluff Country Club in Madison. I met Mark Johnson, a member of the gold medal-winning 1980 United States Olympic hockey team. Mark is now a hockey coach for the women's hockey team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Any other fun facts?
My wife Maribeth and I have been married for 41 years and have three children and four grandchildren. I grew up in Delavan, Wisconsin, and attended Northern Illinois University on a golf scholarship. I accumulated 17 tournament wins by competing in local, state, and national tournaments. I majored in journalism with a minor in physical education.
I started my career in hotel management and learned the business from the ground up. My specialty was renovating, remodeling, and increasing sales at recently acquired or mismanaged hotels. I received the Manager of the Year award three times for excellence in service and operations. I met many celebrities and professional golfers throughout the years.
I started a new career in distribution sales with Inlander Steindler Paper Company (ISP) which became Unisource. I didn't know much about selling but learned quickly. After ten years in the distribution industry, the opportunity arose to join Packaging Tape Inc (PTI), now Rocket Industrial. I achieved a total of eight President Club awards with both companies.