LaRue Preston

Sr. Director, Integrated Supply Chain


I grew up near Columbus, Ohio, and went to work in a manufacturing facility directly out of high school, like most of my classmates. Much of my education in the supply chain management field and my APICS-ISM Certification came through night school classes.

I’ve spent my 40-year career in progressive operations management roles, including 25+ years at various publicly traded Fortune 500 companies, eight years as the GM of two different entrepreneurial companies, and 17 years as a supply chain director. I have experience in all facets of operations, including manufacturing, procurement, production control, inventory control, master scheduling, quality control, and customer service.

I joined Watkins in my current role in January 2020, however, I first worked for Watkins between 1997 – 2006 as Director, Supply Chain and VP, Customer Service & Warranty. I was drawn back to Watkins in 2020 because of the Company’s culture and leadership. Even prior to my first stint with Watkins in 1997, Watkins had a reputation as a white-hat company. I take pride in contributing to our ethics-first culture.

As Sr. Director, Integrated Supply Chain, I oversee order fulfillment along with the rest of the supply chain. This includes our dealer support function in addition to shipping, production control, sourcing, warehousing, logistics and trade compliance. I enjoy the dynamics of my role and the opportunity to service both internal and external customers. Having worked in both customer service and manufacturing earlier in my career, I am external customer-oriented and sensitive to the needs of internal customers within the plant. I like that my role allows me to service both.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife of 33 years, my son, and my dog, Walter. My interests include travel, hiking, and photography.