Our Founder
Dale Lauren Foland

A Visionary Leader

Dale started his rubber career in the 1950’s with the Hamilton-Kent Company, a sewer pipe gasket manufacturer in Kent, Ohio. In 1956, while working in Canada to help open a new facility for Hamilton-Kent, he began trials on continuous cure extrusions. Dale had a vision that continuous sponge extrusion would be the way of the future, but his idea was not accepted by Hamilton-Kent at the time.

After Hamilton-Kent turned away his idea, Foland decided to set out on his own to try to perfect his new process. Following a year of working as a consultant in the rubber industry in Garrettsville, Ohio, Dale discovered that no one was pushing existing extrusion technology to its full potential.

In 1965, Foland decided to form his own company, Lauren Manufacturing
In a short time, Lauren dramatically increased productivity, doubled sales and began turning a profit. Dale’s new method of continuous extrusion of sponge profiles is still widely used today.
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Lauren Manufacturing Company was born in the back of a garage with an investment of only $7000. Lauren became known as the go-to extruder for continuous rubber seals and gaskets. Within a decade, Dale built Lauren into an industry leader – a position it still holds today. Several spin-off businesses developed over the years, leading to the organization of Lauren International, of which Lauren Manufacturing remains the flagship division.

Dale worked tirelessly on his vision for Lauren Manufacturing. He never stopped learning about every facet of the business, including continuous improvement of the process and innovative methods of doing business. His work ethic and philosophies were truly unique: he was a visionary and could see the big picture for the company, as well as for the individuals who worked for him. Dale believed in employee development, hiring to fill in where you are weak, fostering customers with vision and potential and making the workplace a fun and welcoming environment.

Over the years, Dale has been instrumental in the support of individuals and the greater community of Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Passionate about education, Dale has made countless contributions toward the development of individual employees as well as the local branch of Kent State University, including their new Science and Technology facility. He was instrumental in the creation of the Tuscarawas County Center for the Arts and the Kent State Performing Arts Center, and he promoted Starlight Enterprises, Inc., an organization which employs developmentally challenged individuals. He has also been an active member of the Community Improvement Corporation of Tuscarawas County and the local Chamber of Commerce, serving at one point as its President. Dale has also served as the Industry Leader in the United Way’s fundraising efforts in the county.

In 1993, Dale was awarded the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award, honoring those individuals whose ingenuity, hard work and innovation created successful and growing business ventures. He continues to look for innovative ways to help others achieve their goals and dreams at Lauren and beyond. 

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