MONROE, Mich. (June 28, 2010) – On June 16 the City of
Newton gathered to celebrate a five-decade contribution that has affected
millions of Americans. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the people of Newton,
a legacy of comfortable furniture lives on in living rooms across the country, allowing
Americans to relax and recline in La-Z-Boy furniture.
La-Z-Boy South, the furniture manufacturing plant located
in Newton, Miss., celebrated 50 years of production on June 16.
La-Z-Boy local employees and company leadership
joined Newton Mayor David Carr and Mississippi
Governor Haley Barbour, as well as members of the Newton community, to honor
the plant’s long and esteemed history of producing La-Z-Boy
“Congratulations to La-Z-Boy South and all of its employees
for a very successful half-century of production,” said Kurt Darrow, CEO of La-Z-Boy. “Without question, La-Z-Boy
would not be as successful if not for the hard work and talent of the Newton employees.
These men and women should be proud of their role in the La-Z-Boy
Darrow took time during the ceremony to honor 10 employees with 40 or more years
of service to the La-Z-Boy South plant saying, “I’d
like to recognize these employees as they personify our spirit and commitment to
providing comfort worldwide. They have contributed greatly to the
La-Z-Boy reputation in American culture, ensuring that our brand remains
an icon of comfort and quality.”
“This celebration is a very proud moment for La-Z-Boy
South employees as well as the City of Newton,” said Don Mather, plant manager of
La-Z-Boy South. “As we commemorate the 50th anniversary
of producing our first recliner, we remember the many ways we’ve influenced our
town, the company and the nation. This plant’s presence has created stability and
opportunity for our city’s economy, and we are honored to be a piece of the La-Z-Boy success story.”
During the ceremony, La-Z-Boy South unveiled a large-scale
replica of the first La-Z-Boy
recliner. The recliner sculpture is a gift to the City of Newton and will
be placed in nearby Knabusch Park.
History of the Newton Furniture Manufacturing Plant
La-Z-Boy came to Newton in 1960 when the company’s founders,
Edwin Shoemaker and Ed Knabusch, were looking to expand the business. Newton was
a small, comfortable town with friendly people and easy access to raw materials,
a perfect fit for La-Z-Boy. The plant officially opened
in November 1960 and graduated from upholstery and assembly to become a completely
self-supporting manufacturing facility shortly thereafter. Now employing 600 Newton-area
residents, La-Z-Boy South produces over one hundred
different styles and custom-builds 1,100 pieces of furniture every day.
Honoring the Newton Community
Over the years many area residents have been a part of the La-Z-Boy
“Skilled American craftsmen, like those at our La-Z-Boy
South plant, give La-Z-Boy a competitive edge – they
assemble our famously comfortable furniture from the ground up, one piece at a time,
through a process called cellular manufacturing, which is a team-based production
process. This plant makes it possible for us to deliver customized furniture to
our customers quickly,” said Mather.
“It is an honor and privilege to celebrate this truly momentous occasion with the
Newton community,” said Darrow.