The Glue Talk Blog

Photograph of H.B. Employee Debbie Hanson

H.B. Fuller is Connecting What Matters Through Their Employees

Posted 08 Dec 2020 by Liz Andert, Global Digital Marketing Manager

As a leading manufacturer of the world’s most advanced window glass sealant solutions, H.B. Fuller is committed to using sustainable materials to improve lives and protect our planet. Our employees play a vital role in helping us to leverage over a century of manufacturing expertise to create a better future for our children. And perhaps no one has embodied the H.B. Fuller ideals more so than our longest tenured employee in North America, Debbie Hansen

Meet Debbie Hansen

It has been 48 years since Debbie first walked through the doors at the H.B. Fuller site in Fridley, Minnesota. A self-described “little Minnesota Grandma,” Debbie currently serves as the Administrative Assistant for H.B. Fuller’s Window Business. Her duties include handling administrative tasks for both sales and operations at the Fridley manufacturing facility and being known as a motherly figure who looked after everyone.

Debbie got her start in production, a choice she says was easy in retrospect. “When I was offered the job, they told me I could take a job either in the office or production. I asked which one paid more, they told me production so that is where I started. ”

In her nearly half century with the company, Debbie has held several different positions. She was the Office Manager for the Regional Sales Office at H.B. Fuller’s headquarters in St. Paul. Debbie also was the Customer Service Manager for the Window Division and a Customer Service Supervisor for NA Adhesives.

Innovation and efficiency

Much has changed at the company and in the manufacturing industry during Debbie’s tenure. H.B. Fuller expanded its manufacturing operations around the world, becoming a major player in the global market. At the same time, the company has improved efficiency through plant consolidations, providing “more product manufacturing stability and more efficient logistic handling of our customer orders.”

Most striking of all has been the evolution of H.B. Fuller’s manufacturing technology and infrastructure. Debbie can still recall the days of “having a 150-pound computer and keyboard” on her desk and “using data keypunch machines to process customer invoices.” These manual processes have since given way to innovative automation technologies like ERP systems and document management systems. Removing repetitive and time-consuming processes allows employees like Debbie to focus on higher-value tasks. Although, as Debbie is quick to point out, she still has some metal filing cabinets around if anyone needs one.

No two days are the same

The dynamic work environment at H.B. Fuller is what Debbie has enjoyed most about her job. “There are never two days that are the same. There is always something different and new that I can be working on in a day. I like the fact that I am challenged from two worlds, sales and operations daily and this makes my work fun, fulfilling, and never dull.”

Moreover, Debbie appreciates the sheer scope of the company’s manufacturing operations, all the moving parts that come together to deliver high-quality goods to the company’s customers. Her passion for her job is what motivates her to wake up “every day to come into work instead of sitting in my backyard with a fresh cup of brewed coffee.”

A father’s vision fulfilled

Debbie’s father once told her, that “whatever path you choose in life, scientist, school teacher, ditch digger, factory worker, or even president of these good ole USA, be happy in what you do and always give 110%, anything else is cheating yourself and the path that you chose.” Debbie has certainly embodied those ideals in her time at H.B. Fuller, and we are truly grateful for her 48 years of dedicated service.

Find more stories

For more stories about our employees and their dedicated service to the company, follow #IAMConnectingWhatMatters on social media.

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