- change ups
Izzy+ names Steelcase veteran CEO
The founder of the office furniture maker izzy+ is retiring later this year, and he’s tapped an ex-Steelcase executive to be the company’s CEO.
Izzy+ founder Chuck Saylor said that Kevin Kuske will lead the Spring Lake-based manufacturer.
Kuske joined Steelcase in 1997 and has held an array of increasingly responsible posts since, most recently leading the company's emerging small business brand, Turnstone, and helping orchestrate a reinvention of Steelcase's wood products division.
Kuske's appointment as izzy+ CEO took effect last month, and he'll be partnering with Saylor on a succession and leadership transition plan for the next several months.
"I am delighted with Kevin's selection as the next leader of izzy+," Saylor said. "He brings not only great experience, but shares our passion for empowering and leveraging people for growth. I'm eager to see the next step in the development of izzy+ under Kevin's leadership."
Saylor's formal retirement from his CEO role will take place in mid July, when he marks his 65th birthday.
Kuske said he plans to follow in Saylor’s footsteps by continuing to be a pioneering company, focused on "beautiful" products and "smart solutions," particularly in the areas of health and well-being in the workplace.
"Chuck has established a tremendous legacy and created a powerful brand with izzy+, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with him to build upon what he's done and to bring the products and spirit of izzy+ to even more people in the future,” Kuske said. “It's my passionate goal to make Chuck and all the employees and fans of izzy+ extremely proud as we move forward."
Saylor founded the company in 2001 as part of the JSJ Corporation family of businesses, establishing the fledgling operation in Grand Rapids, but soon moving it to Spring Lake, not far from the JSJ headquarters in Grand Haven.
The company initially was named izzydesign, in tribute to Saylor's granddaughter, Isabel. It was re-named izzy+ in 2008, when JSJ acquired izzy+, the parent of the Fixtures Furniture, Harter and ABCO brands.
The company also is the North American marketing partner and distributor of HAG chairs, a seating brand in Europe.