Doing an eight-hour shift, the man said, “made you feel like you were only putting in a half days’ work.”      So, after coming home, he would head out to a workshop on the family farm in Michigan where his cousin joined him.   

By the glow of lantern light, they tinkered.  In their 20s,  Edward Shoemaker was older, and mechanically inclined.  Edwin Knabusch was an aspiring woodworker.  With a few tools, they crafted their own gadgets and used them to make cabinets, racks and cupboards.  

Always driven, in the spring of nineteen twenty-five, Ed Shoemaker completed a mail-order drafting course.   With new knowledge, he began refining the mechanics of a wooden folding chair they had created.

The founding cousins

  “The secret of the whole thing was getting the linkages right—to avoid any sliding,” he said.    So, he created what he needed, and earned the first of many mechanical design patents he would achieve during his lifetime.

 Without peer, the mechanically sound wooden patio chairs sold well very well and led to the establishment of the Floral City Furniture Factory in Monroe, Michigan.   The cousins built the 3-story factory from the ground up, then assembling and installing all of the manufacturing equipment.  They designed and constructed new machinery and safety systems too, resulting in more patents.

The wooden chairs were popular.  But at the suggestion of a Toledo department store buyer, Ed created an upholstered version that sold like gangbusters. 

A 1933 La-Z-Boy recliner–the name was suggested by a factory employee.

Suddenly the company was on the precipice of a comfort revolution.   People could enjoy a smoothly reclining. fully padded, chair.  They could sit tall, stretch out, or relax, feet up, somewhere in between. 

 The iconic La-Z-Boy recliner was born.   That was 90 years and multi- millions of chairs later.   

 Now, more than legendary recliners, La-Z-Boy manufactures sofas, sectionals, loveseats; in fabrics and leathers, with memory foam, and dual motors,  plus hardwood furniture too.   A testament to the innovation started with its founders, the company to this day maintains  246 active U.S. patents.    It employs 6,300 people nationwide; in its Michigan headquarters, five U.S. manufacturing plants, six U.S. distribution centers, and 142 corporate-owned La‑Z‑Boy Furniture Galleries® stores and 205 locally owned stores.    

 In Oregon, the third generation furniture retailer, Brad Parker, with his family, owns and operates six locations, including Delta Park, Clackamas, Tualatin, Tanasbourne, Salem and Eugene.  Since 1995, nearly a quarter million customers from Oregon and Southwest Washington have chosen La-Z-Boy furniture for its legendary comfort and style.

So cheers for the cousins, Edward M Knabusch and Edwin J Shoemaker who built a game-changing piece of furniture and a company that evolved into an American success story with a brand that has become a household name. 

La-Z-Boy, oh boy! Now it’s so much more. 

 

Cory Company is proud of the long lasting relationship it has maintained with  Parker Enterprises for 11 years, providing marketing and advertising services including media planning, copywriting and production. 

 

 

 

 

The new STEM building at Clark College in Vancouver.   

 

 

Last October, the ribbon was cut celebrating the official opening of Clark College’s 70,000 square foot, $40 million building devoted to educating students in the studies of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

 It’s an exceptional building that I recently toured.   

 In the next decade, an estimated 18,000 jobs in Southwest Washinton will require STEM-related education.   Clark College is now training the future workforce, providing an affordable education that meets the needs of employers, and ultimately will assure a vibrant local economy.

 The construction of the $40 million dollar building was funded by the State of Washington, however, state budget cuts led to a 15% reduction in spending.  Philanthropic partners of the Clark College Foundation. along with members of the public, stepped up to contribute nearly $2 million dollars for classrooms and equipment.

Starting in 2014, Cory Company has worked with the Clark College Foundation to develop TV and Radio messaging, digital advertising and media planning to supporting fundraising projects. 

Oswald

Founded in 1933, Clark College’s main campus is located on 101 acres in downtown Vancouver. About 13,000 students are members of the Penguin Nation.  (Oswald is the school mascot).  The college also offers classes on the campus of Washington State University, Vancouver and at a satellite campus in east Vancouver at the Columbia  Tech Center.   Clark College has collaborated on partnerships with many regional colleges, universities, and technical institutions, allowing students to apply credits earned at Clark toward their bachelor’s degree.   

 

 Clark College Foundation Possibilities10 

 

 

 

Rose Festival
So, I don’t think we were supposed to take photos.
But I couldn’t help myself.  I wanted to sneak a few behind the scenes images at the huge east side warehouse where a couple dozen Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade floats are being decorated.  
While mostly assembled by professional builders, the volunteer crews come in during the final days before the parade to finish up the details.   No simple task, that means covering every single piece of construction, with flowers, leaves,  seeds and other natural elements, including wheat husks and shredded coconut, white and tinted. 

Exceptional floral designers, those people with true skills, were tapped to prep the flowers.  They trimmed the stems and placed the blooms buckets of fertilized water, assuring they would stay fresh as possible for until the Saturday event.   Anna Bowman, of

StudioFlowersPdx.com,  is an exceptional floral designer also an active volunteer with The Bloom Project. Bloom is a local non-profit group that repurposes retail flowers each week that are then delivered to hospice patients around the city.   Ann was entrusted to create significant floral arrangements.  With her exceptional skills, the float she worked on went on to earn a Rose Festivals Director’s Award.

 
    Others of us were supplied with sponges, brushes and glue, essentially  “mod-podging” seeds on surfaces.  A lesser but still    important contribution! 
Happy to have had the experience, a small but necessary contribution to this wonderful, civic celebration.