The president and CEO of Bestar-Bush, Michael Evans’ business mantra is simple and succinct: Behave in a manner that is open, honest and direct. “This pertains to all the stakeholders in our business, our people, our customers, and our suppliers.”

It’s a philosophy that has served him well at the New York-based firm, and earned him the respect of those in the industry. 

Evans is no stranger to the manufacturing industry and its hardships, seeing firsthand the experiences faced by his dad, the CEO of a small manufacturing business. “He inspired me then and still now to work hard and not quit when it was tough.”

When Evans joined Bush Industries in 1998, it was “a growing mid-sized company that I believed in,” he said. “With that came the opportunity to manage a 600-person start-up manufacturing operation. I knew the leaders at the time and wanted to be a part of their growth.” He has since held many positions at Bush. “I understand this business on many, many levels, and this allows me to support, with solid knowledge and experience, my executives, and their teams.”

Under Evans’ leadership, Bush has taken a lead role in the RTA industry, including entrance into the commercial office space through retail sales. “Then, because of the complexity and diversity of the SKUs, we launched nationwide drop shipping. It was a turning point for the company that got us here today,” he said. “I credit founder Paul Bush’s vision with that success.”

Acquired in January by Canadian RTA furniture manufacturer Bestar, Bestar-Bush looks to further expand its product line and advance its e-commerce capabilities. “We will be the leader in e-commerce solutions for furniture shoppers across all channels,” Evans said of the company’s goals. “We will outpace the industry in growth, provide returns for our stakeholders and advance our strategic capabilities.”

Evans added he is proud of the young people brought into the business and the impact he and company leaders have had on them. “We have turned around our business by empowering young, entrepreneurial people. I am proud to enable that, and I am also proud of what we give back to our communities in the way of opportunities for others.”

Long involved in charitable contributions and sponsorships with a dozen organizations in western New York, Evans also has served as a member and past president of his local school board for many years. In his free time, he is getting to know his newborn first grandchild, boating on Kinzua Lake and attending sporting events.

Quick Glimpse:

• Education: Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology
• Number of years at the company: 32
• Number of years in the industry: 32
• Word that best describes you: Strategic
• Business mantra:  Behave in a manner that is open, honest and direct.
• Best advice: Stay in school and finish what you start in life.
• Who have you tried to emulate: My dad, Douglas Frink, because of his business and work ethic and his sincere compassion for his employees.

About the Wood Industry Market Leaders: This marks the 12th year Woodworking Network has paid tribute to outstanding men and women that have made an impact, not only at their companies, but within the various wood products industries. Since 2009, more than 80 industry professionals have shared their influencers, insights and strategies.  Read more about the 2020 and past honorees at WoodworkingNetwork.com/Market-Leaders.

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