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Larry Overson
Executive Director VDTA/SDTA, retired

Larry Overson photoLarry Overson was born in St. Peter, MN, in 1940. He graduated from St. Peter High School in May of 1957 and joined the US Navy the following year. He spent two years flying in airships and the remainder of time in Anti Sub Warfare as an aircraft mechanic. He was discharged in 1962 and worked as a psychiatric technician and cook. In 1965 he moved to Rochester, MN, to pursue the higher pay in cooking and got a part time job delivering sewing machines for Larson Sewing Center. That became the start of his door to door sales career.

In 1970 Larry moved to Hutchinson, MN, and went to work for the Hutchinson Sewing Supply Co., Regional Distributors for New Home, Pfaff Sewing Machines and Royal Vac. He worked both as retail sales manager and also wholesale rep for Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa.

In 1979 Larry went to work at Milwaukee Sewing Machine Co. and became wholesale sales rep for the state of Wisconsin, Illinois, eastern third of Iowa, and Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He remained in this position until 1987 when the territory was relinquished to the New Home Sewing Machine Co, and he became the first Regional Sales Manager for New Home. In 1990 and 1991 he assisted in the dealer development in the Midwest territory of Kansas and Nebraska.

In an effort to minimize his multi-state wide travel, he resigned from his position with New Home (now Janome America) and joined the staff of Eastern Woolen Company of St. Paul, MN, and quickly integrated his knowledge of household sewing machines with the industrial market. Again he became a valued salesman and was asked to spread his expertise on the road. This position included travel as far away as Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska and part of Iowa.

Wishing to reduce travel as much as possible and work closer to his home and farm in Minnesota, Larry joined the sales staff at VDTA/SDTA. He was later promoted as Executive Director of Sewing, a position he held until he retired in February of 2007. With his vast experience in both the retail and wholesale side of the dealer’s business, he brought a renewed focus to the sewing aspects of this organization.

Larry is a member of Temple Masonic Lodge 59 in Hutchinson, Crown of Life Lutheran Church, Zuhrah Shrine of Minneapolis, American Legion Post 96, and the Naval Airship Association. He and his wife Karen reside in Surprise, AZ. They have two children, Kyle and Melissa and one grandchild, Jessica.

Larry has strived to preserve, encourage, and support the value of the independent sewing machine dealer. He has earned the honor of being included in the VDTA Hall of Fame.

2011 Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee