Harvey Knell, a prominent business executive and influential community leader, is President of KCB Management, a family office and an investment and asset management firm he founded in 1986 in California. Previously, he served as the President and CEO of Grace Home Centers West, which operated 90 home improvement centers in the western United States, as well as at Ole's Home Centers, Inc., a major chain of home improvement centers, before it was sold to W.R. Grace.
Mr. Knell earned his MBA from Columbia University in 1968. In addition to his highly successful career in business, he has also taken on numerous charitable leadership roles. These include past President of the National Hardware and Home Center Council for the City of Hope, first General Campaign Chair of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys Jewish Federation, President of the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization Board of Trustees, past President and member of the Board of the Armory Center for the Arts, past President of the Board of the Pasadena POPS Orchestra, and founder and member of the Board of Directors of MUSE/IQUE, a performing arts group in his hometown of Pasadena, California.
A member of the Weizmann Institute’s International Board since 2014, Mr. Knell was elected as a Life Member in 2019. He is also an active member of the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, where he is on the Board of Directors and serves as Vice Chair for Financial Resource Development. In addition, he chaired the American Committee’s 75th Anniversary 'Transforming Tomorrow' campaign in 2017.
Harvey and his wife Dr. Ellen Knell, a fellow PhD honoris causa recipient, are generous supporters of and advocates for the Weizmann Institute. They have been instrumental in expanding the Institute's circle of friends and benefactors in California and beyond. Their substantial giving is reflected in the creation of the Knell Family Professorial Chair, of which Prof. Yardena Samuels is the current incumbent, and most recently, the Knell Family Center for Microbiology, headed by Prof. Rotem Sorek. The Knells also provided funding to develop the Weizmann UK Building for Biocomplexity Research.