Shining Light Spotlight – Avery Dennison

This month we spotlight Avery Dennison (Symbol: AVY), a global manufacturer and distributor of adhesive materials including labels, apparel branding tags, RFID inlays, and specialty medical products — headquartered in Glendale, California.

Humble Beginnings

Their story begins in 1935 with a man named Ray Stanton (“Stan”) Avery. Born in 1907 to a low income family, Avery harnessed the power of the American Dream while working at the Midnight Mission as a clerk to get through college and obtain an education. He eventually earned a humanities degree from Pomona College in 1932 after living for a year in China.

Struggling to earn a living wage as a clerk, Avery, armed with a few spare parts, a $100 loan and a big idea, set out to invent a smarter way for retail stores to price and organize their products. He saw firsthand the inefficiency of the old way of organizing inventory. To solve this problem, he invented the world’s first self-adhesive die-cut labeling machine. As a result, 18 patents were granted by the U.S. government, making Avery Adhesives a household name.

In 1990, Avery Adhesives merged with Dennison Manufacturing to form the Avery Dennison Corporation, the company well-known by store owners and corporations across the world today. Employing more than 30,000 people and selling to more than 50 countries, Avery Dennison has exploded into a global corporation, setting the standard for labeling and branding all around the world.

Core Values

A defining attribute of a Shining Light Company is a commitment to values that supersede simple dollars and cents. We believe that success is defined through service and a commitment to excellence in all areas of business. Avery Dennison is no different.

Avery Denison’s eight core values are the foundation for the way the company operates and supports their customers. They realize that their ability to grow and influence more people will only come through a commitment to their founding values. These include integrity, courage, external focus, diversity, sustainability, innovation, teamwork, and excellence. In their own words, Avery Dennison is a culture “Driven by doing the right thing. Always.”

Avery Dennison has a healthy rating on Glassdoor, a company that specializes in compiling employee reviews of a company for prospective future workers. One employee of the company noted that Avery Dennison possessed a “very clean, safe, and stable work environment.” Multiple employees pointed out that the company employs “great people” who are striving to follow the eight core values for success.

Philanthropy & Service

Founder Stan Avery set the standard with regards to service to the community. He donated generously to various educational and art institutions. Most well-known for his support of the California Institute of Technology, the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, and the Huntington Library, Avery went to great lengths to support others. In 1996, Avery began what is called the Avery House, a residence hall for college students of all degree programs.

Inspired by Avery’s generosity, the company created what is today known as the Avery Dennison Foundation. Focusing primarily on education, environmental sustainability, and women’s empowerment, this foundation seeks to touch people around the world. With initiatives like the Avery Dennison InvEnt Scholarship Program, Avery Dennison seeks to recognize and reward young people who possess a spirit of invention and innovation while achieving high standards of excellence in the areas of science, engineering and technology. Scholarships are granted to assist in meeting the students’ financial needs.

Another highlight of the Avery Dennison foundation includes support for the World Memon Organization, a chapter in Pakistan that purchases equipment to train women in sewing and embroidery so that they are empowered to earn a livable wage. The Avery Dennison Foundation is committed to following in the footsteps of its founder to create and support the less fortunate and under-privileged all around the world.


Throughout its 85 year history, Avery Dennison has remained true to Stan Avery’s vision of designing and manufacturing high quality labels and branding while maintaining an unwavering commitment to success, values, and service. For this, we are proud to name Avery Dennison as a Shining Light Company!


DISCLOSURE: Shining Lights companies are those companies we have identified as exemplary companies living out the Golden Rule and exhibiting the virtues of Integrity, Humility, Diligence, Caring and Courage. This is intended for general information purposes concerning only the values, corporate culture and business practices of the companies being spotlighted. It DOES NOT incorporate any analysis of the companies’ investment merit based on intrinsic value, fundamental analysis, etc. This must not be construed as investment advice or a buy/sell recommendation. These companies may or may not be included in our LightPoint Portfolios at any given time.