Livingston & Haven began in 1947 when entrepreneur Malcom D. Haven formed an industrial distribution company in Charleston, S.C., which later expanded into pneumatic components and then hydraulics. In 1966, future Chief Executive Officer, Clifton B. Vann III joined Livingston & Haven. In 1973, he started a Charlotte branch that later became the company’s headquarters. Always interested in how parts worked together, Clifton designed many innovative processes. For his role in designing part of a dredge that provided dirt for the Newark, N.J., airport, Vann traded a commission check for equity in the company and late bought controlling interest.Livingston & Haven Facilities
In a 1976 watershed moment for Livingston & Haven, Vann and others traveled to Germany to tour Bosch (now Bosch Rexroth), a world leader in motion control, leading to Livingston & Haven’s position as the premier Bosch Rexroth distributor in the Southeast. In the early 1980s, Livingston & Haven expanded into electronics and automation in a partnership with Mitsubishi Electric. The company later added lubrication capabilities with two strategic acquisitions and divested unrelated businesses to concentrate completely on motion control.
Vann’s son, Clifton B. Vann IV, who started working at Livingston & Haven sweeping warehouses and packing boxes at age 13, became president in 1999 at age 32. Father and son share a passion for preserving U.S. Manufacturing. In the 2003 annual sales meeting, the elder Vann challenged all associates to do “whatever it takes to ensure the long-term health of U.S. Manufacturing.” Livingston & Haven believes that is the key to the future of the company, and the country.