charles t. knabusch
The son of La-Z-Boy co-founder, Edward M. Knabusch, Charles (b.1939 d.1997) began working in the Monroe Payroll Department in 1961. He received his degree in Business Administration and Corporate Law from Cleary College in 1964. In 1965, he rejoined the company and held several positions until becoming President in August of 1972, succeeding his father. During his tenure, the company completed a series of acquisitions and mergers and consistently outperformed industry growth averages. He was named Chairman of La-Z-Boy in 1985.
After assuming the CEO post in 1985, Mr. Knabusch improved La-Z-Boy's sales to more than $1 billion annually from $52.7 million when he began his reign. Under his direction, La-Z-Boy became the largest upholstered furniture manufacturer in the U.S., and the world's largest producer of reclining chairs.
Charles held various furniture industry posts, including several years of service with the AFMA and its forerunners. He was on the original AFHF board of directors and was one of the organization's first supporters. In 1994 he was named among the nation's ten outstanding business leaders by Northwood University and in 1996, the governor of Michigan, John Engler, appointed him as a public representative to the Michigan National Resources Trust Fund.
The La-Z-Boy Museum & Archives was established in 1984 by Charles T. Knabusch. Located in the original structure built in 1927 by company co-founders, Edward M. Knabusch and Edwin J. Shoemaker, displays include 40 reclining chairs and other products representing a broad range of product history and evolution, and several items made by the founders before the invention and introduction of the famous recliners.