PHOTO COURTESY SPARTON TWO WINNERS — Sparton CEO Bill Toti and long-term employee Agnes “Aggie” Walker flank Walker’s portrait that will hang in the inaugural class of the Sparton Wall of Fame. Walker has been with Sparton for more than 50-1/2 years.

When Sparton CEO Bill Toti and Chief Procurement Officer Stephen Leisenring visited the Fort Worth, Texas, headquarters of Sparton’s parent company, they saw something that they wanted to mimic in their DeLeon Springs plant.

A Wall of Fame dedicated to outstanding employees.

So they went to work on doing just that. The results — an inaugural class of eight Sparton employees — were officially announced earlier this month in a series of “all-hands” meetings of the 600 or so employees at the plant.

The first inductees are all employees with 40 or more years of service to the defense contractor.

Topping the list is Agnes “Aggie” Walker, who has more than 50-1/2 years with Sparton. Far behind are Steve Langrick and Vickie Hiers, at “just” 43 years of service. After them are Melva Jackson, 42 years and 10 months; Bradley Lewis, 42 years and 4 months;Yvonne Bertugli, 41 years and 2 months; Sharon Crowder, 40 years and 11 months; and David Bruder, 40 years and 2 months of service.

“They have become a part of our Sparton culture,” Toti said during one of the meetings Oct. 7. “We’re going to end up having a lot of them,” referring to the portraits.

Each inductee is the subject of a black-and-white photographic portrait that will become the inaugural Sparton Wall of Fame. The 24-inch-by-36-inch black-and-white portraits will be hung in the entry hall of Sparton from the main lobby, where they can be seen by employees and guests alike.

INTRODUCING THE PROGRAM AND FIRST INDUCTEES — CEO Bill Toti addresses one of the “all-hands” meetings held to announce the first eight employees who comprise the inaugural inductees into Sparton’s Wall of Fame.

The Wall of Fame will continue to grow over the years with those who have attained a level of achievement, such as receiving patents, achieving long-term employment, or truly exemplifying the “heart of Sparton,” said Marketing Specialist Megan Cheluget.

New classes of inductees will probably be named on an annual basis and won’t be limited just to long-term employees, but there won’t be any set number of additions, she added.

Toti and Leisenring brought the idea back from the headquarters of Elbit Systems of America LLC, which acquired Sparton early last year to expand its operations in the United States.

Elbit Systems of America is a leading provider of high-performance products, system solutions, and support services focusing on the defense, homeland security, law enforcement, commercial aviation, and medical instrumentation markets. It is wholly owned by Elbit Systems Ltd., a global high-technology company engaged in a wide range of programs for innovative defense and commercial applications.

Learn more at

Sparton Corp., a DeLeon Springs-based provider of sonobuoys for the U.S. Navy and engineered products for the defense industry, has a 120-year history and decades of defense experience from World War I to today. It is a premier supplier of critical undersea-warfare solutions to the U.S. Navy and its allies, as well as engineered products for the defense industry.

Its website is

Beacon reporter Noah Hertz contributed to this report.


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