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360° Leadership Conference, a Big Success for Attendees

Monday, February 5, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Brad Miller
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Grand Rapids, Mich. – The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association capped off their 360º Leadership Conference this week in Miami Beach, Florida. This annual event hosted by BIFMA brought record attendance and an all-star line up of speakers over the course of 3 days to the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. The theme for 2018 was YOU, with speakers focusing on ways to harness one’s individual leadership qualities.

The 360º officially kicked off on Monday afternoon with welcomes from BIFMA’s Executive Director, Tom Reardon and current board president, Sylvain Garneau, President & CEO of Groupe Lacasse. Immediately following was the keynote by Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, the highly acclaimed executive coach and NYT Best Selling author. His simple yet challenging message to the room full of high-achievers focused on reigning in their natural tendencies to compete in favor of more mindful responses. A signing of his latest book, Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts—Becoming the Person You Want to Be, followed Goldsmith’s presentation. 

Tuesday featured 4 speakers ranging from the irreverent message of Harley-Davidson turn-around artist, Ken Schmidt (returning to the 360º by popular demand), to Deborah Wince-Smith of the Council on Competitiveness whose expertise seemed to have no boundaries. Gabor George Burt refined the Blue Ocean Strategy message that he helped to create into an actionable Slingshot Framework for harnessing creativity. Corporate Strategist, Laura Kane of the Public Relations Society of America, spoke on the importance of storytelling to ensure one’s message hits the intended mark. 

Ending strong, Wednesday’s sessions were focused on the designer’s perspective. Jane Hallinan and Alissa Wehmueller, both recent recipients of IIDA’s Member of the Year award, are clearly advocates of BIFMA’s emphasis on the importance of furniture standards. Their suggestions for ways to better address the realities that designers of today face when making furniture decisions, were an important message for the many furniture executives in the audience. Hallinan and Wehmueller also hosted a pre-conference workshop on Monday entitled, Do This, Don’t Do That, which highlighted the best practices that manufacturers can use in order to increase their success with the design community. Rounding out the program of events was Todd Simmons, IBM’s Vice President, Brand Experience & Design. Simmons took the audience on a tour of his creative career showing the influence of design as a strategic lever for building customer delight. 

The 200+ attendees of the 2018 360º Leadership Conference left Miami with notebooks full of ideas to take back to their organizations. And if some sand made its way into suitcases, that was just the cost of doing business this week for these leaders of the commercial furniture industry. 



BIFMA is the trade association for business and institutional furniture manufacturers. Since 1973, BIFMAʼs role has been to monitor the state of the industry, serve as a forum for member cooperation and collaboration, sponsor the development and refining of current and future standards, educate on their importance and application, and translate their necessary complexity into more easily understood and implemented formats.




CONTACT: Tom Reardon

Work: 616-285-3963