Larry Martin is the plant director for Quad’s print-production plant in The Rock. As plant director, Martin oversees all plant and employee operations, strategy development, growth-planning initiatives, and more. He is a Georgia native and was named plant director at The Rock in March 2021.
Martin’s career in printing began at Quad 28 years ago. He has worked in management for the last 18 years, and prior to being promoted to plant director, served as the plant’s finishing operations manager for 10.5 years.
Martin credits much of his success to his cousin Trent Jones, who served as a mentor to Martin throughout his upbringing and worked 32 years as a saddle stitch operator at Quad.
Finishing is one of Quad’s largest departments, with quality-assurance and exceptional customer service as top priorities. Martin says he gained immense insight on teamwork and relationship building as a leader in finishing. It provided him opportunities to interact with teams and individuals in every area of the plant, and to engage with clients from around the world, according to Quad officials.
He now fuses that experience with his prowess as a leader to nurture a mission-focused culture at The Rock. Since becoming plant director, Martin has worked with other plant leaders to develop a mission statement, enhance the plant’s community engagement, and increase hiring and retention efforts.
“We’ve worked a lot with Silvertown Baptist Church with their soup kitchen and we do a lot with the chamber as well. [We] just want to get our footprint out in the community more,” commented Martin, who says he is actively searching for other networks and non-profit organizations in the community.
The Rock’s newest mission is to be “a family-oriented, strategically-thinking team dedicated to improving the quality of life for all employees and the community, while safely and efficiently delivering quality products for our clients.”
Martin says that as plant director, he wants to lead by example and carry out the company mission by being relatable and honest. He has an open-door policy and leads with empathy and understanding that each individual represents a different walk of life.
He prioritizes helping employees reach their goals and focuses on offering educational courses for leadership, people skills, communication, and preparing individuals for advancement.
“Even though I’m not from Upson County, I’ve been with Quad for 28 years and this is my family… Quad is a place where you can excel.”
As the largest manufacturer in the area, maintaining The Rock’s footprint in the community is important to Martin. The Rock campus includes amenities for both employee and community-use. Amenities include a pavilion with play areas, a pond for catch-and-release fishing, a volleyball court, a clubhouse, and more. A QuadMed medical and fitness center is also on-site. Serving as the face of The Rock, Martin is intentional in participating in local chamber events and community initiatives like the local soup kitchen.
Martin said he believes a strong workforce is the base of company innovation. The Rock has dedicated resources to recruitment and increased the starting wage for entry-level production roles from $13 per hour to $16 per hour. Additional hiring initiatives include the promotion of a sign-on bonus, a referral bonus, and a targeted hiring campaign in 2021 that resulted in 100 new hires.
Martin has served in a variety of capacities since starting at Quad in 1994 as a stacker technician. He started in management in 2004 as an ink jet manager, then finishing shift manager in 2007, and lean enterprise manager in 2010. In November 2010, he was promoted to finishing operations manager.
Excerpt edited and reprinted with permission from The Upson Beacon