Clearfield's Lifetime Products celebrates 25 years
By Jasen Asay
Standard-Examiner Davis Bureau
CLEARFIELD -- When Richard Hendrickson began working as a graveyard-shift welder 23 years ago at Lifetime Products Inc., he expected it to be a job that helped him through college. Little did he know that one day he would be running the company.
Hendrickson, now president of Lifetime Products, and his co-workers are getting ready to celebrate the company's 25th anniversary.
What started in 1986 as "some guys making basketball hoops in a garage," Hendrickson said, has turned into the world's largest manufacturer of blow-molded polyethylene folding tables, picnic tables and chairs, and residential basketball hoops.
"We've got a lot of history, a lot of opportunities and a lot of lives that we've been able to affect," Hendrickson said. "We strive to give lots of people opportunities to grow and learn. There are a lot of stories like mine."
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Lifetime Products plans to give away 25 adjustable basketball hoops by the end of 2011. The giveaways begin next week, said Katie Salter, public relations and communications manager of Lifetime Products.
Those hoping to win one of the hoops must enter a drawing on the company's Facebook page and answer a few research questions dealing with basketball hoops.
"We do a lot of market research, in house, in more quantifiable ways, but we've been doing Facebook and Twitter the last few years, and we love the feedback from there and we pass it on," Salter said.
Lifetime Products has 1,300 full-time employees and 300 part-time employees, all working in Davis County. Nearly 80 percent of the senior management team at Lifetime Products started at entry-level positions with the company. Then they worked their way up, just like Hendrickson.
Hendrickson spent time in manufacturing, research and development, and sales and marketing before he headed up the initial creation of the company's international division. He was later promoted to vice president of sporting goods before Barry Mower, the company's owner, made him president almost five years ago.
Lifetime Products' initial product was the first Quick Adjust basketball pole. Since then, while manufacturing more than 10 million adjustable basketball systems sold in more than 58 countries, the company has expanded to several more products, including folding chairs and tables, playground equipment, storage sheds and kayaks.
Hendrickson said Lifetime Products ships equipment to 56 countries and has operations in Mexico and China.
"Twenty-five years is kind of fun to celebrate," Hendrickson said. "We plan on being here for a 50-year anniversary party as well."
Does that mean Lifetime Products will then be giving away 50 basketball hoops?
"By then, hopefully we can do that," Hendrickson said with a laugh