J.R. Simplot's Legacy

Simplot stopped to chat with everyone from from managers to production-line workers

He liked to eat in his company's cafeterias and tour its plants, stopping to chat with everyone from managers to production-line workers. At a Simplot guacamole plant in Mexico, he spoke animatedly with employees about his plans for expanding the plant - without uttering a word of Spanish to his overwhelmingly Spanish-speaking audience.

When he finished updating the workers, he toured the plant's day-care center and visited happily in English with their Spanish-speaking children.

"They didn't understand a word he was saying, but it didn't matter," Dean Summers said. "He had this big, friendly smile, and they couldn't help but like him."