Dave Longaberger, 1934-1999

Dave Longaberger was in no way an individual to tolerate personal limitations. He had to go all out to just get through school (and went through fifth grade three times!), yet he was self-driven to graduate. He stuttered severely as a young man, but took on work as a door-to-door salesman to conquer that condition. Then he began a successful commercial enterprise - The Longaberger® Company — with a vision that Americans would still treasure the handcrafted quality of the baskets his father had constructed for years.
If you simply had asked Dave what he thought to be his greatest achievement, the answer would have been no surprise to anyone who knew him. "What gives me the greatest pleasure is having the ability to make a difference in peoples' lives." Longaberger's company mission statement, To Stimulate A Better Quality of Life™, is an expression of his most gratifying attainment and endures to this very day.
Through Longaberger, Dave made a positive and significant impact on many people. The company has empored tens of thousands of independent home consultants all over the U.S. to be their own boss, to run their own business, to set their own principles for success. In and around his hometown of Dresden, Ohio, Dave and his company have contributed jobs — and occupational opportunities — to thousands of employees.

Dave's willingness to take appropriate risks in order to make a profit date back to the early 1960s when he acquired a local diner in Dresden, complete with two booths, two tables and eight stools. Later he purchased an out-of-commission grocery store and resumed the business so the residents of the town wouldn't have to drive 15 miles or more to buy a loaf of bread. All during those early endeavors in business, Dave ascertained three key elements he still says are required for success: listening to others, having trust in others and maintaining a sense of humor.

Dave kept those three points in mind when he came up with the idea of selling baskets; just like those his father, J.W. Longaberger, had hand-crafted 20 years ago. It was that successful idea which truly gave him the power to make a positive impact on the quality of life for so many people.
"People value friendly service and high quality," said Dave. "That's what Longaberger is all about. Our home consultants come to your house to help you understand the distinctive heritage of our products, and we work hard in Dresden to guarantee that each of those items are of the unconditional highest quality."

Dave was known for his friendly conduct and random sense of humor. He always inspired others to keep a carefree and happy attitude as well. "Every day should be at least 25 percent fun!" is one of his most commonly quoted beliefs.

Dave Longaberger died on March 17, 1999, from cancer of the small tubes in the kidneys that filter the blood and remove waste products. Through his imagination of time yet to come and the many campaigns he began at The Longaberger Company, his life-long ambitions will carry on.