Welcome to JSA Consultancy Services

A business consultancy, based in London, England, John Sacks' JSA Consultancy Services provides expert, in-depth, information advice and guidance as to how to exploit successfully the office furniture and interiors markets in Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan.

Dick Haworth tells story of his family business

Thursday 4 November 2010

HOLLAND, Michegan - Industrial arts teacher G. W. Haworth started his namesake international office interiors manufacturer in a garage in 1948.
In just 60 years, Haworth Inc. has become a West Michigan stronghold, employing 7,500 people worldwide
But it wasn\'t easy. It took a lot of hard work, mistakes, risks and a family of entrepreneurs to get the company where it is today, said the founder\'s son, Dick Haworth, former company CEO and now chairman emeritus of the $1.1 billion business.
\"You can\'t start a business without making mistakes. The key is learning and moving forward, making the products better, learning your business and serving your customers,\" said Haworth, speaking to 150 business and community members for the start of the third annual Meijer Lecture Series at Hope College.
Haworth took over from his father as president and CEO of the company in 1975 at age 34, and ran it for the next 35 years. Today, it\'s run by Dick Haworth\'s son, Chairman Matthew Haworth, 42, who oversees the company\'s worldwide operations.
Started in 1948 as Modern Products Co., the company\'s original business was the design and building of retail furnishings, including display cases.
In 1958, Haworth Inc. struck it big when it teamed with salesman Ray Murdock, created a design and won the contract for movable office partitions for the new General Motors headquarters in Detroit. While that was a major launch for the business, innovations over the years grew it from a $400,000-a-year business in the early 1960s.
The company moved forward to catch up with office giants like Herman Miller and Steelcase with early adoption of what were then radical new business techniques like strategic planning, quality control circles and the recognition of a growing world market.
\"In 1988, we decided we had to expand our product lines and global reach and couldn\'t wait to develop them on our own, so we embarked on acquiring key companies that would give us coverage across North America and become a global organization,\" Dick Haworth said.
The firm is now looking beyond specific products to creating whole work environments for companies, Matthew Haworth said.
\"We\'ve become focused on creating sustainable and green building solutions for customers to create more energy-efficient, work-efficient work environments that are adaptable to changing future needs. That\'s part of our global mission now,\" he said.
The fact that Haworth, the former Prince Corp. and other Holland businesses have grown into global companies from humble means doesn\'t surprise Elton Bruins, a Van Raalte Institute research fellow and retired Hope College religion professor.
\"Holland was founded by an entrepreneur, Albertus Van Raalte. He was a religious leader but also knew you couldn\'t have a successful religious colony unless you encouraged businesses,\" said Bruins, noting Van Raalte was instrumental in creating the Holland Harbor channel and bringing the railroad to the city.

Subscribe to our News Page

Enter your email here and we will tell you when this page is updated.



moreLatest News

Friday 23 June 2017 Trump 'has spent $133,000 on White House furnishings in his first five months in office

President Donald Trump has spent more taxpayer funds on White House furnishings in the first five mo

Wednesday 7 June 2017 HNI appoints Lorenger president, Office Furniture

MUSCATINE, Iowa - HNI Corp. has appointed Jeff Lorenger to president of its Office Furniture segmen

Monday 5 June 2017 Leeds Firm Helps Save Jobs at Office Furniture Maker

Restructuring specialists from Leeds have helped safeguard a future for a £6m-turnover Oxfordshire

Sunday 28 May 2017 Steelcase's new seating aims to make hospital rooms more comfortable

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Patients often want their family members in their hospital rooms. Research sh

Contact Us

JSA Consultancy Services
4-5 Gray’s Inn Square, Gray’s Inn,
London, WC1R 5AH, England

+44 (0) 20 7670 1510