PETALUMA — Workrite Ergonomics named Charles Lawrence as president in a move the company said is aimed at accelerating growth and investment in the business.
He will report to Peter Martin, chief executive officer of parent company Knape & Vogt (www.knapeandvogt.com), and have full operational responsibility for the ergonomics business globally. Workrite (www.workriteergo.com) develops, manufactures and distributes high-end ergonomic systems for the office.
“This is an ideal time to build on the great reputation of Workrite and its expertise in ergonomics,” Mr. Lawrence said. “Its heritage of innovation, quality and customer centric culture are at the heart of Workrite and the ones we are determined to preserve and strengthen.”
Workrite is gearing up to build on its market position as workplace ergonomics gains popularity and importance, Mr. Martin said. The company recently relocated its Petaluma base of operations to a more-efficient facility.
New products and stronger relationships with the dealer networks will be priorities for Workrite’s new leader.
Before joining Workrite, Mr. Lawrence held management, marketing, product-development, brand-management and sales leadership roles at Fortune 500 and private equity–backed companies including GE, Masco, Brunswick and Cerberus Capital Management.
For the past six years, he led the turnaround of the U.S. division of Switzerland-based Franke Kitchen Systems, said to be the largest manufacturer of stainless steel products including kitchen sinks, foodservice systems, and washroom and beverage systems.
He is a member of the board of the North American advisory board of the global Chief Marketing Officer Council.
Workrite started in 1991 and moved to Petaluma in 2001. It was acquired by private-equity firm Wind Point Partners in mid-2006 and then by Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Knape & Vogt, an office accessories and ergonomics company, in July 2007.
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