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Flexsteel names Karel Czanderna president and CEO

DUBUQUE, Iowa — Karel K. Czanderna, a veteran executive at durable goods manufacturers Owens Corning and Whirlpool Corp., has joined Flexsteel Inds. as president and CEO.

She succeeds Ron Klosterman, who has retired as the top executive after a nearly 40-year career at the furniture manufacturer and importer. He retains his seat on the company's board.

"For more than a century, Flexsteel's employees, investors and customers have benefited from exceptional executive leadership," said company Chairman Lynn J. Davis. "That proud tradition will continue with Karel serving as our seventh corporate president.

"Having earned critical operational expertise through years of building world-class brands, Karel is uniquely equipped to enhance growth opportunities in our various business lines while maintaining the culture that has served as the company's foundation since its inception," Davis said.

"It is an honor to join an organization that since 1893 has built a reputation for unwavering commitment to product and service excellence," said Czanderna. "I look forward to preserving that storied heritage as we continue to expand on Flexsteel's many industry-leading innovations to create additional value for our customers and investors."

Czanderna, who holds a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Cornell University and completed an executive education program at Harvard Business School, most recently was group president of Building Materials for Owens Corning. In that role, she was responsible for a $3.3 billion global business that accounted for two-thirds of the Fortune 500 company's revenue.

She led 7,500 employees located in more than 65 global plants as well as an integrated supply chain organization and sales and marketing staff. Czanderna is credited with doubling the profitability of the Building Materials business during an economic downturn.

Prior to Owens Corning, she held executive positions at Whirlpool including as vice president and general manager of global KitchenAid and Jenn-Air appliances, a $1.8 billion business.

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