LEO LARSEN, LU 1503
Member since 1945
How long have you been in the union?
I joined in 1945.
What is your age?
96 years old
Do you have any favorite projects from over the years?
My favorite project was the Medical Arts Building at 10th and Taylor Street in Portland. It was built by Hammond Construction. This is the same company I went to work for in 1960. In 1981, I was elected President of the Oregon Building Congress. This was a group in the construction industry established to promote apprenticeship training.
How has being a part of a union made a difference in your life?
I served as an apprentice under some of the best carpenters you have ever seen. We have some of the best men. What would this country do without unions?
Has union membership impacted your life in ways you did not expect?
I held several leadership positions throughout my career: foreman, VP of the Oregon State Labor Council, and the first Financial Secretary for LU 247. I didn’t intend to become a financial secretary when I became a carpenter. It was an honor.
Have you had mentors in your career? Have you been a mentor?
My father and my uncle were my mentors. I learned my trade from the best. In the trade, birds of a feather flock together. Carpentry has remained in my family, with my two sons and grandson being in the trade.
Do you have advice for those starting out in their career?
Be willing to listen. Be honest and courageous.