Charles A. Robbins

Charles Austin Robbins was born December 19, 1919 and was raised in Rocky Mount NC. Married to Norma Dozier Robbins, they had three children, Chuck, Bill and Dee. In 1943 at the age of 24, Austin Robbins assumed the management of Carolina Office & Equipment Co, an office equipment and supply business, following the death of his father, Grover Robbins, who founded the company in 1921. During this Post War Era, Austin Robbins expanded the business to the largest of its kind in the area. He was a pioneer in promoting downtown businesses, an excellent manager, and highly respected businessman. In 2021, the company enters the fourth generation of family ownership and management while celebrating its 100th year anniversary. Today, the company operates in three states with nine offices, and is a regional company that has experienced tremendous growth and a commanding presence, because of Austin Robbins, his two sons, Chuck, Bill and the fourth generation of his grandchildren.


Robbins graduated from Rocky Mount High School in 1938 and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1942. He received the Governor of NC Award, Order of The Long Leaf Pine, and served on the Board of Directors for Peoples Bank & Trust. Austin also served as President of the Rocky Mount Merchants Association and on Kiwanis Club Board of Directors. As one of the founders of Lakeside Baptist, his love for people and community and was evident throughout his life. He was an Eagle Scout, Scoutmaster and served on numerous other community boards such as Salvation Army and United Fund.


Austin Robbins, while in his fifty third year of leadership at COECO, passed away in 1995 while vacationing in Alberta, Canada with his wife of more than fifty years, Norma Robbins.

Leadership Roles & Accomplishments:

  • Governor of NC Award, Order of The Long Leaf Pine
  • Board of Directors for Peoples Bank & Trust
  • President of the Rocky Mount Merchants Association
  • Kiwanis Club Board of Directors

Inducted in 2021