Lauren Manufacturing of New Philadelphia, Ohio, reached a landmark birthday on Monday – the maker of extruded and molded polymer sealing solutions turned 50.

From humble beginnings – it was founded by Dale Foland in a garage in Garrettsville, Ohio, in 1965 – Lauren has grown into a company with 500 employees and a global reach across many industries, including commercial and residential doors and windows.

The Lauren Manufacturing plant in New Philadelphia, Ohio.
The Lauren Manufacturing plant in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

Local business leaders and elected officials turned out for the celebration, according to a report from the Times Reporter of New Philadelphia.

Kevin Gray, the CEO of parent company Lauren International, said Foland always talks about how the company is an innovator, the newspaper reported.

“We’re willing to try and do anything that’s innovative and new,” Gray said. “As we celebrate 50 years and look to the past, we want to do that, and when the clock strikes 12 tonight, we’re going to be looking for the next 50 years. What can we do to take this company the next 50 years?

Later, Foland told the newspaper about how he founded Lauren after getting stiffed on a bonus by the company he was working for. He quit and started his own business, which he partially named after himself (Lauren is his middle name).

After beginning life in a garage, Foland moved Lauren Manufacturing to Kent, Ohio, before settling in New Philadelphia in 1974. Today, the company’s 150,000-square-foot plant runs three shifts a day, five days a week.

“Management is not hard,” Lauren told the newspaper. “Just take care of the weakness and go where the trouble is. My failure list is pretty high. But I praise people for trying. It’s important that you try – and you learn.”