By the age of eight years old, Linda Black began working for her family-run business, Leonard’s Photography. At that time, the start up company location was a modest garage setting. Nothing in comparison to the 38,000 square foot building that Leonard’s now calls home.
In 1951, Linda assisted in the hand developed process the company used. This was a series of rocking baskets that constituted a “chemical to chemical to chemical” production line. This process was created by her father, Leonard, himself. “Leonard was a self-taught engineer,” Linda says. “Dad was a great visionary. He was very diligent too. He even built his own roll processor,” she explains. A great visionary he certainly was. Even Eastman Kodak sent engineers to visit Leonard’s Photography in an attempt to seek out ideas on how to design a printer from Leonard.
“Dad was never afraid of tackling things,” says Linda. She points out that this is a characteristic that still resonates through the company to this day. “He was always hands on and was heavily involved with the design and construction of our present location, which we moved into in 1983.”
In regards to leadership, Leonard had a hands-on approach, always rolling up his sleeves and heading a vertically integrated company. This approach has had a lasting impression on Leonard’s Photography. “Everybody pitched in right from the beginning, which is probably why our company has the same characteristics today,” Linda states.
Today, Linda still loves her job as Leonard’s Vice President. She continues to put out fires and take on whatever is needed to help make the day to day operations go as smoothly as possible. “You could consider me ‘semi-retired.’ However, I still enjoy coming to work. I have a lot in my head from working here so many years that I can share with others to help the cause,” she says. “One of the things we are most proud of is the fact that we retain 85 to 90 percent of our schools. Our philosophy towards customer service has been to always be willing to make it right. And that is the way it will always be.”