As CEO of Johnson Home Products, manufacturers of quality household appliances and furnishings since 1884, I would like to take a moment to assure you, our valued customer, that your safety is our number-two concern.

Whether you're using a Johnson food processor to prepare a delicious meal for your family, switching on your Johnson track-lighting system to read a book, or installing a new Johnson shelving unit in your children's playroom, you can feel confident knowing that your safety is right near the top of our list. In fact, it's almost number one.

It's a shame, but some companies these days tend to forget about the customer. Maybe it's because they've grown too big and have lost sight of what really matters. Or maybe it's because they just don't want to go the extra mile. Well, here at Johnson, we care about you and your well-being. In fact, it's practically what we care about most.

In every Johnson Home Products factory, there hangs a sign reminding each assembly-line worker what is most important as they put the nuts and bolts into the gas kitchen ranges, ceiling fans and garage-door openers that will find their way into homes like yours all across America. And right below that sign is a smaller, but still very readable, sign reminding those workers that product safety is also somewhat significant.

Even in the planning stages of a Johnson product, long before it reaches store shelves, we sit down and talk about what counts most. And almost every time, someone mentions consumer safety, usually within the first half-hour.

At the federally required Johnson Home Products testing facility in East Brunswick, NJ, we've learned to ask questions: Does this product comply with national standards? Does it pose a risk of any kind? Will it explode if dropped? Sooner or later, nearly all of these questions are brought up for consideration.

Some of those bigger companies, companies that take in more than our average annual revenue of $40 billion, think only about profit and the bottom line. But here at Johnson Home Products, we know there should also be time set aside to think about safety. Now, maybe the safety meeting is a little later in the day, and maybe it isn't mandatory, so not everyone shows up for it, but you'd better believe we're going to keep holding those meetings anyway.

In fact, you can be sure your safety occasionally crosses our mind, because we put the Johnson Pledge Of Quality on every box, right below the product warnings. As my grandfather, Josiah A. Johnson, said when he founded this company more than 100 years ago, "At Johnson, the customer comes second." That's right—not third, not fourth... second. And that's the Johnson promise.