The Foundation, Chaired by Lisa Howlett, CEO of Auburn Leather, along with John Wittenborn, President of the Leather Industries of America (“LIA”) announced Lange’s selection following a search and hiring process in coordination with the University of Cincinnati.

“Steve brings an extensive background in leather technology, laboratory management and customer relations; all skills needed for the success of the LRL. He is well equipped to lead a strong and experienced laboratory staff into the future”, Howlett said. Wittenborn added: “Steve is well known in the industry as an experienced leather laboratory manager. As Director of the LRL, he will lead a team of highly qualified and experienced leather chemists and provide additional marketing and customer service capabilities to an already dynamic laboratory operation at the University of Cincinnati.”

Lange said, “I am proud to join the LRL and look forward to building upon the Lab’s great reputation for quality, independent expertise on leather testing and customer service. My goal is to make the Lab a worldwide resource of leather technology expertise.”

Lange has significant industry experience to draw upon. He brings to the LRL over 23 years of experience in the automotive leather field. His first position in the leather industry was at Seton’s Newark, New Jersey tannery where he worked with production and R&D teams to improve process consistency and determine root cause for problems. He has experience in continual process improvement and product formula validation. Most recently, Lange joined GST Auto Leather Innovation Center where he was primarily responsible for coordination of GST’s North American laboratories. Lange is a graduate of Heidelberg University, Ohio, with a BSc in Biology and serves as President of the American Leather Chemists Association for the 2013-2014 term.

About the LRL

The LRL was established at the University of Cincinnati in 1924 by the Tanners’ Council of America (now the Leather Industries of America) and has operated as an independent research, education and testing service for the benefit of the leather industry for nearly 90 years. LRL is the premier leather research and testing laboratory in the US. The Foundation provides oversight and administrative support for the LRL.