BIFMA to track furniture for health care, education, public seating
By billesler
June 19, 2016 | 5:27 pm CDT

CHICAGO - Furniture produced and sold for health care, education markets, and public seating will be added - along with office furniture - to the production and sales total tracked by BIFMA, the Business & Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Assocation. 

The announcement was made by Tom Reardon, executive director of  BIFMA, at the trade group's annual meeting June 15 during NeoCon at Chicago's Merchandise Mart. Reardon said that BIFMA will continue to work with IHS Global, which has tracked office furniture production and sales for  BIFMA for years. While the organization members have long included manufacturers of educational and health care furnishings, the output of these sectors is not included. 

% Change
% Change
$10.3 billion
$10.8 billion
+1.0 %
+4.8 %
$ 13.4 billion
$ 14.4 billion
+3.9 %
+7.2 %
IHS-BIFMA office furniture report
BIFMA will also begin tracking production of office accessories - capturing production and sales data for that segment as well - and a reflection of the move of office workers from discrete desks and cubicles to shared work spaces, or to working at home. Adding the sales figures for these areas will also boost BIFMA's stature, as the volume of its members' output is likely to be much higher than the office manufacturing numbers currently reported by IHS (above).
Following BIFMA's standard board protocol, Sylvain Garneau became board president at the meeting. Garneau had been VP and president elect of the board. He is CEO of Group LaCasse, a Montreal-based furniture maufacturer, and is BIFMA's first board president from a Canadian firm. Sylvain joined Groupe Lacasse in 2010. 
Garneau succeeds Daniel Tuohy,  president and CEO of Tuohy Furniture Corp., Chatfield, Minnesota. 

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Profile picture for user billesler
About the author
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.