Commercial furniture group BIFMA taps Kimball chief exec for president
June 20, 2018 | 3:18 pm CDT
Don Van Winkle, CEO of Kimball International, was elected president of commercial furniture group BIFMA.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - At its annual meeting during NeoCon 2018 in Chicago, the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) representing the commercial furniture industry, announced the election of new industry leaders to its Board of Directors:
  • Dan Byrne, CEO of Byrne Electrical Specialists;
  • John Fellowes, President and CEO Fellowes Brands;
  • Sue Madrid, President of LOFTwall;
  • and Max Verkamp, President and CEO of Indiana Furniture were each elected to three-year terms as Directors.
Additionally, Don Van Winkle, Kimball International, has assumed the role of BIFMA President, succeeding Sylvain Garneau, Groupe Lacasse, in that capacity. Van Winkle previously served as vice president/president-elect. Garneau, who received the 2016 Woodworking Network Market Leader Award, will continue on the Board as a Director and past-president. 
Dan Byrne grew up through the operations and product development side of the family business. His entrepreneurial spirit and leadership have fostered a culture of innovation and collaboration. Dan is the second generation to lead the company that his father started in the basement of their home in 1971.
John Fellowes represents the fourth generation of family leadership in the privately held Chicago-based company founded in 1917. John worked alongside his grandfather, father, and uncle during his time at Fellowes. Fellowes Brands acquired ESI Ergonomic Solutions in late-2017.
Sue Madrid joined the contract furniture industry in 2011 as LOFTwall’s operations manager. She was tapped by Steven Kinder, founder of LOFTwall, in 2015 to move into the role of president and has been leading the sales, operations, and cultural evolution at the company ever since.
Max Verkamp has over 25 years of experience working in the manufacturing industry. In April 2016, he was named President/CEO of Indiana Furniture. Prior to that, Max worked at MasterBrand Cabinets, the largest kitchen and bath cabinet manufacturer in North America, for 24 years.
BIFMA Executive Director, Thomas Reardon, welcomed the election of these executives. “Our goal is to identify and recruit leaders with rich and diverse backgrounds to keep the leadership of our organization poised and prepared to address the dynamic changes within the markets we serve.”
The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association is the voice for the commercial furniture industry. BIFMA develops safety, performance, and sustainability standards that ensure product performance. BIFMA provides data and analytics that the industry uses to make key manufacturing decisions. The organization advocates for regulatory conditions that enhance value and foster innovation. 

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Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.