Strategy targeted to capturing emerging business opportunities and driving continued growth
Kalamazoo, MI – June 24, 2019 – Landscape Forms, Inc., North America’s premier manufacturer of high design site furniture, structure, accessories, and LED lighting, celebrates its 50th anniversary with a bold strategic plan for driving growth in its site furniture business and promoting expansion in LED lighting and Studio 431 custom services. The Board of Directors of the privately held company has approved the formation of three business divisions within the parent company. Landscape Forms Site Furniture and Structure, Landscape Forms Lighting, and Landscape Forms Studio 431will operate as separate business units, each with its own president and responsibility for production, profitability and growth. Marjorie K. Simmons, an experienced design business executive and member of the Landscape Forms board, has been named Chief Executive Officer of Landscape Forms effective July 1, 2019. She succeeds Richard Heriford, who will assist with the succession and retire on January 1, 2020. Heriford will join the company’s Board of Directors.
The new strategic plan is consistent with Landscape Forms’ history of internal evaluation and evolution to meet changing markets and capture new opportunities. Retiring CEO Richard Heriford explains, “Twenty years ago, I joined the company as part of a new structure that propelled two decades of growth. Now we are once again taking a long view. This is the next step in moving forward.” In the past two decades the company achieved exponential growth of over 500% in annual sales revenue; a steady stream of innovative products created in collaboration with renowned designers including Designworks (a BMW company), Robert A.M. Stern, and Yves Béhar among others; entry into LED Lighting, pioneering the design and development of environmentally responsive outdoor lighting; and the creation of Studio 431, a custom solutions business with major projects coast to coast, from parks and campuses to municipal transportation facilities. The company has expanded its production capabilities, acquired compatible companies, and extended its global outreach in sales and design. Landscape Forms Roundtables for professionals and Xtreme LA charrettes for young practitioners and students have helped establish its reputation as a thought leader.
Bill Main, Chairman of the Landscape Forms Board of Directors explains why this is the time for another strategic move: “We have a growing number of exciting new initiatives for the future and they need a high level of leadership and organizational support. We can’t put all our great ideas through the existing funnel. There’s just not enough capacity. This new structure gives wings to our ideas in a powerful way, increasing our capacity to deliver an array of outdoor space solutions for our customers and create more opportunity for our employees and owners. Our new CEO Margie Simmons is an excellent choice to lead these efforts. She brings proven leadership experience in sophisticated organizations and acquisitions, along with an understanding and appreciation for the unique culture and capabilities of Landscape Forms. And she has a great spirit and boundless energy.”
Marjorie Simmons, Landscape Forms’ fourth CEO since its founding in 1969, continues a company tradition of leadership by people experienced in design. Ms. Simmons served in her most recent capacity as Senior Vice President and Business Leader in the Buildings Group at Stantec, one of the world’s top global design firms. At Landscape Forms, she will lead an executive team that includes Robb Smalldon, President, Landscape Forms Site Furniture and Structure. Smalldon, in over 20 years at Landscape Forms, has held various engineering management positions and, between 2010 and 2018, led exponential growth of the company’s new Studio 431 custom division. Incoming presidents of Lighting and Studio 431 will be announced. Four corporate Vice Presidents will remain in their current roles serving across all business units: Jodi Havera, Vice President of Finance and CFO; Jim Marshall, Vice President of Culture; Eric Swanson, Vice President of Sales; and Kirt Martin, Vice President of Design and Marketing and Chief Creative Officer (CCO) responsible for the overall look and feel of all product design, marketing, media, branding and work space.
Marjorie Simmons comments on the challenges ahead: “From my first introduction to Landscape Forms, I knew that this was a very special and unique company. Founder John Chipman Sr. laid a strong foundation of creativity, people centricity and craftsmanship that has been maintained over time. It’s not just a thin layer of wonderful on top – the culture, based on those principles, penetrates the entire organization. Landscape Forms has been a company that has had meaningful, significant growth - for the right reasons. A major part of my charge is to continue that success by cultivating entrepreneurial leadership in our three business segments and focusing on more and the right strategic acquisitions for further growth. I believe we have the organizational and financial confidence and resources to make bold moves. The work will require intense communication – not just talking, but listening, learning, and responding with empathy to the people involved. I’m very excited about embarking on the journey together.”
About Marjorie (Margie) K. Simmons
Ms. Simmons began her career as a CPA at Ernst & Young, went on to become Chief Financial Officer and Director of Business Development for an architectural design firm, and in 1998 co-founded DSA Architects. Recognized in 2003 as one of the fastest growing A/E firms in the nation, DSA was acquired by SHW Group, a national design firm headquartered in Dallas, Texas. She led the Michigan operation of SHW Group, worked with her team to establish a Texas higher education division for the firm, and was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of SHW Group in 2010. Her appointment came at a time when the firm had revenue of nearly $60 million, over 300 employees, 8 offices nationwide, and international projects in Central America, the Middle East and China. In 2014, SHW Group was acquired by Stantec, a global design firm with 22,000 employees in over 400 locations worldwide. At Stantec, Ms. Simmons served as a Senior Vice President and Business Leader in the Buildings Group.
Marjorie Simmons has been instrumental during her career in leading through a wide variety of organizational change, including start-ups, turnarounds, integration of acquisitions, and corporate reorganizations - each a unique circumstance but all requiring change management. She joined Landscape Forms as a Board Member in 2014 and was appointed Audit Committee Chair in 2017. A graduate of Michigan State University, Eli Broad College of Business, Ms. Simmons also studied Marketing, Labor Relations and Communications at Purdue University. She has a passion for design, empowering people and leading change.
About Robert (Robb) G. Smalldon
Mr. Smalldon came to Landscape Forms as an intern in 1998 and, upon graduation in 2001, joined the company as a Manufacturing Engineer. Over the subsequent decade and a half, he was developed as a future Landscape Forms leader with exposure to all aspects of the business through periods of design industry change and company growth. Mr. Smalldon successfully forged Studio 431, Landscape Forms’ custom product division, into the preferred industry partner in branded solutions by building strategic relationships with discriminating clients and delivering value-add performance to venue projects. He was named to the Landscape Forms Management Team in 2013 and its Executive Team in 2017.
Mr. Smalldon attended Western Michigan University’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. In addition to his work at Landscape Forms, he is proud to be a community leader helping to connect creative people and drive collaboration between industry leading companies in southwest Michigan. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Southwest Michigan First, Select Products, and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (Fall 2019), and as an advisor to Western Michigan University’s design school.
About Richard Heriford
Richard Heriford joined Landscape Forms in 2000 as Vice President Sales and Marketing. Working with the company leadership team, he helped fine-tune the Landscape Forms Go-To-Market Strategy, strengthen brand awareness, and expand new product development, helping fuel growth in sales revenues. Mr. Heriford became President of Landscape Forms in 2011. His passion for modern design and American craft has help shaped Landscape Forms positioning as a Design First / Global Premium Brand.
Mr. Heriford attended Kansas State University, College of Architecture and Design and Southern Methodist University. An architect by training, he has spent 40 plus years in the contract furniture industry. In addition to his work at Landscape Forms, Mr. Heriford serves as Chairman of the Board for the Saugatuck Center for Arts in Saugatuck, Michigan, and Vice President of the Board for the Landscape Architecture Foundation in Washington D.C.
About Landscape Forms
Landscape Forms is the industry leader in integrated collections of high-design site furniture, structures, accessories, 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 company is headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with manufacturing facilities in Kalamazoo and Phoenix, Arizona, and 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; and familiar brand leaders such as Harvard University, Linked In, New York Central Park Conservancy, Bryant Park, Google, Coca Cola, Oculus, U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), Nike, National Museum of African American History (Washington, D.C.), Barclays Center, Adidas, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Microsoft, and Uber.