Longaberger News

CVSL Responds to Longaberger Lawsuit

Former CEO Suing Longaberger Co.

Longaberger To Launch In Australia As 1st Step In Global Expansion

Longaberger Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Longaberger to Make Own Pottery in USA

Longaberger Announces Intention Of Returning To US Manufacturing For Entire Product Line

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CVSL Responds to Longaberger Lawsuit

Npros.com | 10/18/2015

October 14, 2015 -- CVSL Inc. and its subsidiary, The Longaberger Company, filed a motion to dismiss Tami Longaberger's lawsuit seeking repayment of $1 million in loans she made to the company. CVSL seeks to settle the issue in binding arbitration, alleging that Ms. Longaberger's claims fall within the arbitration provision of her employment agreement with CVSL. CVSL also alleges that Tami Longaberger damaged the company "far in excess" of the $1 million she is seeking, accusing her of "breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, negligence, conversion, misappropriation of company funds, civil theft, breach of contract, and misappropriation of trade secrets."

Tami Longaberger joined the company her father founded in 1984, became president in 1994, and had led the company since the death of her father in 1999. She alleged in termination letters that after acquiring the company, CVSL reduced her salary and responsibilities, gave another executive authority over her and failed to pay taxes to several states, resulting in some seeking payment from her personally. She made three loans to the cash-strapped company in 2014, which she claims were to be repaid in June and July of this year.

CVSL stated in June that it had terminated Ms. Longaberger because she had an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate, refused to work with the sales field and rarely showed up at the office. John Rochon Jr. took over as Longaberger chairman, president and CEO following her departure.

Former CEO Suing Longaberger Co.

Npros.com | 10/11/2015

Tami Longaberger, who resigned as CEO of the Longaberger Co. in May, is suing the company over $1 million she loaned to the company in 2014. Longaberger alleges in the lawsuit that Longaberger Co.'s parent company, CVSL, asked her "to loan as much money as she could so that the companies could meet their immediate financial obligations." But CVSL has not repaid any principal or interest, according to the lawsuit.

CVSL denied the allegations.

In 2013, after years of declining sales, CVSL bought a majority stake in Longaberger Co., but relations between the companies quickly soured. In Tami Longaberger's resignation letter, she explained her decision to leave the company by citing several actions taken by CVSL, including reducing her salary during a four-month "deferral period" that was never made up, and caused Longaberger Co. to fail to pay sales and use taxes to several states, "prompting these state taxing authorities to seek to assess me personally."

CVSL responded by saying it had terminated Longaberger "after an internal investigation revealed that (she) engaged in substantial misconduct that has damaged the Longaberger Co. and CVSL."

Longaberger said CVSL's charges of misconduct were "a transparent attempt to evade their responsibilities under my contract."

Longaberger To Launch In Australia As 1st Step In Global Expansion

Press Release | 7/26/2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 26, 2013 -- The Longaberger Company will expand to Australia next month, the first time that the 40-year-old American basketmaker has done business outside North America.

The announcement was made today by Longaberger CEO Tami Longaberger at the company's annual sales convention in Columbus, OH. Longaberger is celebrating its 40th year anniversary of crafting handmade American baskets, fine vitrified pottery and other home decor items. Five generations of the Longaberger family have been in the basketmaking business.

"We're taking the first step toward one of our dreams, which is to someday be a global company and bring American craftsmanship to families around the world," said Ms. Longaberger.

"There are 196 countries in the world. Longaberger currently sells in two of them. There are seven billion people in the world and 95% of them live in markets that have never even been told about Longaberger. It's time to start changing that," she added.

One of Longaberger's sister companies in publicly-traded CVSL Inc. [STOCK SYMBOL: CVSL] is Australia-based Your Inspiration At Home, which sells an award-winning line of hand-crafted spice blends. That company's founder and CEO, Colleen Walters, attended this week's Longaberger convention as a special guest, as did several of her company's top sellers.

CVSL chairman John Rochon said that the launch of Longaberger in Australia and the mutual support by the two companies is an example of how CVSL direct selling companies will work together to grow and make use of cooperative synergies.

"The Longaberger sales force now has an open door to recruit and grow their businesses in Australia, just as the Your Inspiration At Home sales force has an open door to enter the North American market. Each company can benefit from the other's presence and familiarity with the new market. There will also be practical ways to make good use of common resources in every new market we add," Mr. Rochon said.

"We know that families in Australia will absolutely love our hand-crafted baskets and our vitrified, Woven Traditions pottery," said Ms. Longaberger. "We make each individual basket and each piece of pottery with great care and skill, using traditional methods that have been passed down for generations. We know that Australians will appreciate that.

"Entering Australia is the first step in bringing Longaberger's American style and our unique hand craftsmanship to the world. We're thrilled that being part of CVSL gives us that opportunity," said Ms. Longaberger.

"Our friends in Your Inspiration At Home will be helpful to us there, just as we will be helpful as they bring their wonderful spice blends to North America. It's a mutually-supporting relationship. We're thrilled to explore all the unlimited possibilities," said Ms. Longaberger.

Also at the Longaberger sales convention, the company reported that it is well ahead of schedule in its "Project Eagle" effort to transition to an all U.S.-made product line. "Last year at this time, half of our line was U.S.-made. Today it is two thirds. By next spring it will be 85% and by early 2015, we will be 100% U.S.-made," reported Ms. Longaberger.

Longaberger Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Press Release | 6/18/2013

NEWARK, Ohio, June 14, 2013 -- The world's largest American flag was unfurled in Ohio as part of a unique and colorful all-American celebration.

Honoring America, Flag Day and The Longaberger Company's 40th anniversary, the unfurling of world's largest American flag was the highlight of the Great American Picnic Celebration held at Longaberger Homestead near Frazeysburg OH.

The massive flag, which requires 500 people to handle and extends nearly two football fields in length, was unfurled before a crowd of thousands as county music recording artist Darryl Worley sang the national anthem. The Longaberger event marks the first time this gigantic flag has ever been seen in Ohio.

"Today we have something truly wonderful to celebrate – 40 years of hand-crafted baskets and American opportunity and our renewed commitment to Made in America," said CEO Tami Longaberger. "Today is about family, and America's heritage and our love of American craftsmanship and our shared passion to make America great. We felt that the perfect way to celebrate was with a one-of-a-kind picnic, with the biggest American flag in the world as our centerpiece."

A special commemorative red, white and blue basket was created for the celebration with proceeds benefiting Fisher House, a national charity benefiting American military service members and their families.

Longaberger to Make Own Pottery in USA

Press Release | 5/15/2013

NEWARK, Ohio and BUFFALO, N.Y., May 13, 2013 -- For the first time in its 40-year history, The Longaberger Company will make its own pottery in the United States.

As a major step in its "Project Eagle" effort to move to an all-U.S.-made line, Longaberger will make its pottery in a 300,000 square-foot facility – Longaberger® Pottery Works – located at Niagara Ceramics in Buffalo, New York. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held May 20.

"This is a historic and exciting step forward in our mission to create more American jobs and to support American craftsmanship," said CEO Tami Longaberger. "While Longaberger baskets have always been made in America, bringing pottery to U.S.-made is a major milestone for the company. Our Home Consultants and customers want quality items that are made here in the USA. By launching our own pottery works, we're delivering on our promise."

The partnership between Longaberger and Niagara Ceramics means that the vast knowledge of pottery-making at Niagara is available to Longaberger's pottery makers, who will be crafting the company's beloved Woven Traditions® pottery. Longaberger Woven Traditions Pottery was originally launched in 1992 and was made by suppliers in the USA until 2005, when pottery-making was moved overseas because of supplier factory relocations.

Ms. Longaberger announced her company's Project Eagle initiative last July at Longaberger's national sales convention. The purpose is to make the company's entire product line American made.

"When Tami challenged us to bring everything in our line back to Made in America, we knew we needed to start with pottery," said Mike Trempe, Longaberger President and COO. "What we didn't know was whether we could find the right domestic partner to make it possible for us to become our own pottery maker. We're thrilled to have found the skills we need here in Buffalo." Pottery has been crafted on the site in Buffalo since 1901.

Trempe said that, initially, 22 people will be working on Longaberger pottery making in Buffalo, and that the number will rise as needed to fill customer demand. Longaberger initially expects to make about a million pottery pieces a year.

Pottery and baskets are linked in Longaberger's history. "Our family's basket making heritage actually began when my grandfather, J.W. Longaberger, made baskets for Ohio's pottery industry. They were used to move the green-ware to and from the kiln," said Ms. Longaberger. "From there, he started making other kinds of baskets that found their way into homes around town. So by crafting our own pottery now, we're coming back home to our roots."

Longaberger Announces Intention Of Returning To US Manufacturing For Entire Product Line

Press Release | 7/27/2012

Move is Expected to Create at least 500 American Jobs

COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 27, 2012 -- The Longaberger Company, maker of hand-crafted baskets and an icon of American craftsmanship for nearly 40 years, announced today that it has begun the process of transitioning its full line to U.S.-made products.

CEO and President Tami Longaberger made the announcement at the company's annual national sales convention in Columbus today.

"We're coming home. I've directed our team to begin the process of making us a completely American-made company again," declared Ms. Longaberger in her keynote speech before more than 3,000 members of the independent sales field from around the country who gathered for the three-day event.

Ms. Longaberger noted that, along with its trademark baskets, the company has been offering an extensive line of pottery, serving pieces and tabletop merchandise for many years. She recounted how, in the early 2000s, Longaberger's source of American-made pottery moved its manufacturing overseas. Beginning in 2005, the company was forced to import pottery in order to meet its customers' needs. She then explained how she had reached the decision announced today.

"As I've talked with you and others in the sales field, as I've thought long and hard about who we are and what makes us special, I keep coming back to something fundamental," said Ms. Longaberger. "Our company was founded in America's Heartland. We stand for American values. We want to create more American jobs. We want to help rebuild our country."

The company estimates that its transition to U.S. sourcing for the entire line will create at least 500 American jobs, and could create more, as sales volumes grow.

She said that the transition will take place over a period of several years and that an internal team has already begun work on a plan for converting the product line to U.S.-made, an effort the company has named Project Eagle. She noted that Longaberger has enough space at its basket making campus to house a pottery-making operation, and that partnerships with existing vendors may help speed the process.

"We're a company that can set an example for the country to follow. I believe Longaberger can be a beacon," Ms. Longaberger declared. "We have 30,000 entrepreneurs in thousands of communities. Through them, we'll help rebuild America one community at a time."

Longaberger Fires President

Npros.com | 5/16/2010

The Longaberger Company has fired another president, the sixth change in leadership in the last seven years. President Robin Crossman, who was hired in October of 2009 was released from the company after Tami Longaberger, daughter of founder Dave Longaberger, made the decision to make a change.

According to Longaberger spokesman Tom Mathews, Tami Longaberger was not satisfied with the performance of the company.

Arson Ruled At Longaberger House

Npros.com | 4/23/2010

Arson was ruled to be the cause of a fire at a 208-year-old house owned by Longaberger at 1406 Seven Hills Road, Hanover Township as investigators eliminated all other causes, Licking County fire investigator Phil Winland said.

After being reported at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, the fire burned well into the night, leaving Licking County Sheriff’s Office detectives to work with Winland to investigate the crime. Longaberger Co. had no plans for the structure that was originally built in 1802, and bought it in 1995 to help segregate a golf club from the surrounding area, company spokesman Tom Matthews said.

Longaberger Press Release

Press Release | 4/16/2010

The Longaberger Co. announced Wednesday a temporary layoff of 12 employees in its Woodcrafts Division.

The Newark-based basketmaker will place the employees on furlough beginning Friday, but plans to call them back July 12, company spokesman Tom Matthews said.

The move was needed to realign inventory at the company's manufacturing campus, he said.

The Woodcrafts Division, which consists of 42 employees before the furloughs, makes lids and accessories for baskets.

A year ago, Longaberger eliminated the dimension mill operation of its Woodcrafts Division, laying off 39 employees and sending some work elsewhere.

In September, the company unveiled a new line of collegiate and National Football League basket sets, hiring temporary help in Woodcrafts to prepare for the demand.

Longaberger hired a new president in October, when Robin Crossman took over the duties of managing day-to-day operations of the direct-selling basketmaker.

Tami Longaberger, chairwoman and chief executive officer, continued to lead the company, set its strategic direction and maintain strong ties to its consultants, the company stated at the time of Crossman's appointment.

The company recalled 50 basketmakers in October bringing its work force to about 1,450 employees.

Longaberger announced in January the layoff of 125 manufacturing employees, as well as a partnership with a Westerville company to take over its 100-employee Customer Fulfillment Center.

The company, which 10 years ago employed more than 8,000, now reports about 1,000 employees.

Longaberger Cuts Jobs

Npros.com | 1/8/2010

The Longaberger basket company is cutting 125 manufacturing jobs and turning control of a shipping center over to another company.

On Monday Ohio-basedLongaberger announced that 100 people who work at the Frazeysburg order fulfillment center in eastern Ohio will need to reapply for their jobs under the facility's new management. The cuts will leave Longaberger with about 1,300 employees, down from approximately 2,000 last January.

Longaberger Rehires 50 Employees

Bizjournals.com | 10/17/2009

More employees are going through the door at basket maker Longaberger Co., but they’re headed the opposite direction than in recent years.

The Newark-based basket and home products manufacturer and retailer said Monday that it is recalling 50 basket makers to its Frazeysburg facility this week. The move, the company said, is in response to a better-than-expected sales of new baskets featuring National Football League and college football logos and optimism for the holiday season.

Longaberger in the past year has made two mass layoffs, cutting 73 workers last November in Frazeysburg and in February letting go nearly 300 employees, including 175 manufacturing workers in its basket-making, distribution and woodcrafts divisions. Those moves brought payroll down to about 1,400, down from more than 8,000 earlier this decade.

Longaberger Reveals New Basket Line

WDBJ7.com | 10/17/2009

An Ohio Company with a reputation for quality craftsmanship is weaving a bit of Hokie Pride into its latest products.

The Longaberger Company recently unveiled a new line of handcrafted baskets, that include Virginia Tech colors and logos.

Wednesday, hundreds were expected at the Roanoke Sheraton for a tailgate party featuring former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar, and a full line of the company's popular baskets.

Longaberger Names New President

Washington Examiner | 10/1/2009

The Longaberger basket company has named Robin Crossman its new president to take over for Tami Longaberger, who has been serving as president for about two years.

The central Ohio-based Longaberger Co. announced the appointment Thursday. Tami Longaberger will continue as chairwoman and chief executive.

Longaberger Hosting Tailgate Party

Green Bay Press Gazette | 8/16/2009

Ohio-based basket making company Longaberger will host a tailgate party from 7 to 8:30 p.m. tonight at the Tundra Lodge Resort & Waterpark, 865 Lombardi Ave., Green Bay.

The event is free and open to the public and will feature the company's team spirit baskets in green and gold for Green Bay Packers fans and orange and brown for Cleveland Browns fans. Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar will be on hand to sign baskets featuring orange and brown accents the day before the Packers-Browns game on Saturday at Lambeau Field.

Longaberger Laying Off 295

Npros.com | 2/28/2009

The Longaberger Co. announced Thursday one of its largest layoffs in recent years, affecting 295 employees at the corporate office building in Newark and manufacturing facility in Dresden.

The basketmaker announced the elimination of 120 management, administrative and support positions and a reduction of 175 manufacturing jobs in basketmaking, distribution and woodcrafts, because of the recession.

The company also announced wage reductions that begin March 29 for salaried employees at all levels, including senior managers and Chief Executive Officer Tami Longaberger, who will take a 15 percent pay cut.

Longaberger Honored for Breast Cancer Research

Coshocton Tribune | 12/2/2008

The American Cancer Society's Corporate Impact Awards were presented Monday to The Longaberger Company of Newark and 16 additional companies during the society's Annual Meeting in New York City. The awards recognize businesses' financial and in-kind contributions of at least $1 million during the previous calendar year. These donations were raised through a variety of channels and represent these companies' commitment to the Society's global fight to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.

"These companies and their many employees have proven that their hearts are compassionate and benevolent. The society is appreciative of these companies that so generously give of their resources and empower their employees to become personally involved with our mission of saving lives," said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer, American Cancer Society. "The record number of businesses receiving the Society's Corporate Impact Awards this year reflects the greatness of the human spirit."

Longaberger Launches Longaberger Home Magazine

MarketWatch | 11/28/2008

The Longaberger Company - America's premier maker of handcrafted baskets - has unveiled the holiday edition of Longaberger Home, a new Web magazine that brings to life its made-in-America product and home business opportunity. Longaberger Home is hosted by Chief Executive Officer and President Tami Longaberger, who treats viewers to a visit to her home, where she shares time with Home Consultants. It also tells the story of holiday traditions, the basketmaking heritage, the commitment to giving back and passion for quality that are hallmarks of the company.

"Longaberger Home is about our heart, friendships, family and fun. We're giving women and men the opportunity to share in our spirit," Longaberger said.

Longaberger Breaks Ground for New Distribution Center

Coshocton Tribune | 10/20/2008

The Longaberger Co. broke ground for its new Distribution Center. Construction was to begin later in the week for the new $23 million, 500,000-square-foot center on Ohio 16 between Dresden and Frazeysburg.

Longaberger Makes Cuts

WHIO Radio | 2/22/2008

Blaming a tough economy, central Ohio's Longaberger Company has laid off 200 of its basket makers.

Spokesman Tom Matthews says the company hopes those employees will eventually be called back. He says Longaberger will begin hiring for seasonal positions soon, and the workers from the basket-making operation will be welcome to apply for those jobs.

The company based in Newark also says it has streamlined its senior management, eliminating 25 positions.

Longaberger Lays off 225

The Columbus Dispatch | 2/12/2008

Longaberger Co. is cutting 225 positions in an effort to “strengthen the company and fuel its future growth.”

Newark-based Longaberger said it is laying off 200 employees in its basketmaking operations today and that 25 senior management positions have been trimmed since December.

Longaberger hopes to recall the 200 laid-off manufacturing workers. If that doesn’t happen, the company’s work force would shrink to about 2,600, down from 8,200 at the start of the decade.

Longaberger Honored by Cancer Society

The Newark Advocate | 2/4/2008

The American Cancer Society's Ohio Division announced Wednesday The Longaberger Co. has been honored with an American Cancer Society Corporate Impact Award for support of breast cancer research and education.

Longaberger received the award for its commitment to Horizon of Hope, an annual fundraising program the company created in 1995 in partnership with the American Cancer Society.

Horizon of Hope has raised about $13 million for American Cancer Society's research, education, advocacy and patient services and reached an estimated 18 million women with potentially life-saving information.

Longaberger designs a Horizon of Hope basket and provides Horizon of Hope products, with a portion of the proceeds going directly to the American Cancer Society.

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