Strategic Partner Spotlight: Larry Wonder, Virco
Do you know where the desks, tables, chairs, bookshelves, and other furniture in your district came from? Chances are, they were purchased from Virco, the largest American manufacturer of school furniture. Perhaps you’ve even communicated with Larry Wonder, Virco’s vice president of sales.
Larry joined Virco as a sales representative in Sacramento, California, in 1978. Through the years, he relocated to Atlanta and then back to California, this time to Torrance. He is active in state and regional school business organizations as well as ASBO International, where he served on two committees—facilities and exhibits—in the 1990s.
Virco strongly believes in manufacturing their school furniture in the United States. They’re also proud to offer PlanSCAPE®, a furniture, fixtures, and equipment service that coordinates the purchase, delivery, and installation of furniture from Virco as well as furniture from 14 other manufacturers with whom they collaborate.
The company is synonymous with long-term dedication. The Virtue family founded Virco in 1950; Robert Virtue, president and CEO, has been with the company since 1957. And not only has Larry been a part of the Virco team for more than three decades, but the company has been affiliated with ASBO for nearly its entire existence. Virco began exhibiting at ASBOs’ Annual Meeting in 1957. And if you attended the 2007 Annual Meeting in Toronto, you’ll recall the special recognition given to Don Friesz, a retired Virco vice president who had attended every ASBO Annual Meeting for 50 years!
Virco recognizes that SBOs take on tremendous responsibilities. “School business officials are an integral part of running schools, and they need professional development and recognition to do their jobs,” Larry says. “Since Virco does a lot of business with schools, it’s our responsibility to support those SBOs.” To that end, Virco began sponsoring the Pinnacle Awards Program when it was launched in 1993.
Outside the office, Larry and his wife, Debbie, a registered nurse and medical center compliance officer for Kaiser Permanente, enjoy taking road trips, especially to their home state of North Dakota. Their daughter, Nancy, is a social worker and lives with her husband, Nick, in Boston. Their son, Nathan, is a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, where he serves as a dentist. He is currently completing an endodontics residency at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. Nathan and his wife, Lena, have a daughter, Annabelle (3).