Lafayette County Enterprises introduces new executive director
The Lafayette County Enterprises Board of Directors recently announced that Gary Littrell started his duties as executive director of Lafayette County Enterprises on Monday, Aug. 12.
Gary grew up in Central Missouri, graduating from Glasgow High School. Following graduation from college in 1973, he spent the next 43 years in education, with 13 years spent teaching physical education, health, outdoor education and driver education. In 1986, he became junior and senior high school principal in the LaMonte R-IV school district. In 1992, he moved to a similar position at Santa Fe R-10 High School in Alma, where he retired from public education in 2003. Following retirement, he was an elementary principal in the private sector for 13 years. Gary has also coached many sports and has a passion for basketball. He spoke recently about the similarities and differences between his career in education and his new job.
“There are a lot of things that are the same,” he said. “I’m still working with people like I did as a principal, where I worked with students, parents and staff. There is a lot of paperwork like I’m used to. The differences are I don’t have to worry about classroom lessons and grading papers. And I have always had great staff to work with. That hasn’t changed.”
LCE, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, employs people with developmental and intellectual disabilities in manufacturing and recycling. LCE employees work from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and are either paid hourly or on a by-piece basis, depending on their job. Littrell said his new position as executive director offers a variety of key components.
“I am tasked with maintaining, and adding to, our current contracts,” he said. “I manage the budget, help with jobs and programs, and handle the day-to-day operations of an organization with 42 employee clients, 10 regular staff members, and lots of vehicles.”
The organization receives both state-grant and county tax-levy monies. However, a majority of how the company receives its funding is through contracted manufacturing jobs. Though most of the manufacturing contracts come from the Kansas City area, Littrell said the organization recently landed a contract with a business out of the state of California.
“We are very excited to see that develop and start up sometime in September or October,” he said.
The company offers a wide variety of services, including manufacturing safety boxes for Croft Trailers, packing various items for different companies, and operating an ongoing recycling business. LCE also has cleaning contracts with various entities.
“And I should make it clear I don’t do it all by myself,” Littrell added. “I have great people working with me to make sure everything runs well.
Littrell has three grown children, all of whom live on the East Coast: two in Florida and one in Virginia. His three children have blessed him with eight grandchildren — six boys and two girls.