Landscape Forms Expands Markets, Grows Global Presence and Deepens Roots in Western Michigan
Investment in People, Partners and Facilities in Kalamazoo Signals Commitment to Community
Kalamazoo, MI – April 20, 2016 - North America’s largest manufacturer of outdoor furnishings and international leader in site furniture design was born in a workshop on the same Kalamazoo site where its corporate headquarters now stand. Today, the $100 million company, founded in 1969 by visionary local landscape architect John Chipman, employs 400 people in three Kalamazoo locations and in sales and service throughout the US and the world. Landscape Forms President, Richard E. Heriford, joined the company as VP of Sales and Marketing in 2000 when sales revenues were $23M. Named to the top spot in 2011, Heriford helped develop and implement the aggressive strategy for growth and global leadership that have set the stage for the future. “We are a substantial presence in the West Michigan business community and a very big player in the industry in which we compete,” Heriford explains. “Over the past several years members of our long-serving executive team reached retirement and we faced the challenge of building a new team to lead the company. And, as we have grown exponentially in the last decade and a half, our need for production capability has increased. It’s been a very busy time. Now the Executive Team, along with a very strong group of board members, Directors and Managers and expanded benchmark-quality facilities are in place.”
The new team will lead a company grounded in design, culture and craft, creating award-winning products for a highly sophisticated architect and designer customer base and pursuing its legacy of participatory culture and open-book management. Landscape Forms collaborates with internationally renowned designers including frog design, Designworks, a BMW Group Company; Robert A.M. Stern, and Yves Behar to produce innovative product collections for an international marketplace. Its Studio 431 provides custom products and services for high-profile public and private projects nationwide. A new venture into the design and development of innovative LED Lighting has, in just six years, garnered awards, won prominent customers and resulted in representation of products by lighting specialists in key markets. In its outreach to designers, students and professional organizations, the company sponsors professional activities including roundtables, charrettes, white papers and online community access that address issues critical to the built and landscape environments. And it nurtures relationships with educational institutions in the Kalamazoo community. “Our need for talent is constant and we recruit great people from the colleges, universities and design schools in western Michigan,” Richard Heriford declares.
In the past three years the company has made a multi-million dollar investment in world-class manufacturing capability. It has retrofitted its 97,000 square foot facility at the original Lawndale site to house material storage and metal fabrication and provide expanded capabilities for the custom products of Studio 431. On campus it created an outdoor Customer Experience Center, an industry first that combines its award-winning site furniture and LED lighting in a natural setting. The company has repurposed a 165,000 square foot facility at Midlink, the historic General Motor’s Fisher Body Plant, to serve as the center for powdercoat finishing, assembly, and shipping from its strategic location adjacent to the I-94 East/West transit corridor. And it has constructed a new 17,000 square foot production facility for Ultra High Performance Concrete in Richland, dedicated to the production of Landscape Forms’ Meldstone™, the company’s proprietary composite for producing lightweight concrete products that expand opportunities for innovative designs and push the parameters of the material.
Mr. Heriford, an architect with decades of experience in executive management positions in the contract furniture industry, is joined on the new Executive Team by five additional members. Daniel Waugh, Vice President, Group Operations, joins Landscape Forms following a 25-year career at Steelcase, most recently as Global Program Manager where he managed product portfolios for two business categories with combined $190M annual sales. Kirt Martin, Vice President of Design and Marketing, formerly directed industrial design activities at Turnstone, a division of Steelcase. Jamie May, Vice President, Global Sales, has over 20 years of sales, business development and sales leadership experience with design driven companies including Gunlocke, Allsteel and Milliken. Jodi L. Havera, CPA, Vice President, Finance and CFO, was formerly Chief Financial Officer for Ship-Pac, Inc. and, following sale of the company to HP in 2014, was responsible for the profitability of Ship-Pac as a branch of HP. Jim Marshall, Vice President, Culture has carried out international Leadership, Development and Training programs at MANN+HUMMEL Group.
President Heriford says, “We have assembled a leadership team with outstanding range and experience who come from larger businesses and bring an international approach to their work at Landscape Forms. Our approach to building future success is design driven and results oriented. Our goal is to continue to grow the company in size and profitability, maintain our strong commitment to design and culture, and solidify our presence in western Michigan where we have cultivated strong roots.”
About Landscape Forms
Landscape Forms is the industry leader in integrated collections of high-design site furniture and advanced LED lighting. Since its founding in 1969 Landscape Forms has earned a reputation for excellent design, high quality products and exceptional service. The Landscape Forms U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility is located in Kalamazoo, Michigan with sales representatives throughout North America, South America, the United Kingdom, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Asia. Landscape Forms collaborates with renowned industrial designers and consultancies, landscape architects, and architects to design and develop integrated collections of products that address emerging needs and help create a sense of place. Additionally, the company has formed global marketing partnerships with select companies that share its commitment to design. Landscape Forms has an installed base of products around the world. Clients include municipalities, transit centers, corporate, college and health care campuses, sites such as Orange County Great Park; and familiar brand leaders such as Boeing, Cisco Systems, Disney, Sprint, American Airlines, Herman Miller and Nike. The company was recently named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the Top 15 Small Workplaces in the US.