I recently had the opportunity to interview Ellen Hains, our new Branch Manager, NYC.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
A race car driver. I grew up in suburbia and I think getting in your car and having a Sunday drive was very special. I was born in the sixties and the idea of having a nice car was a luxury. I was the youngest, so I sat in the front seat with my parents and they would sometimes let me steer the wheel. There was something about being a race car driver that just seemed appealing and dangerous. To this day, my father still says I am the best driver in the family.
What and where did you study?
I went to CW Post College which is Long Island University. I was originally studying TV/radio which evolved into public speaking, but my degree was in Speech Communications. It became clear that I was going into sales, so it was important that I learn to present and engage with people.
How and when did your career in this industry begin?
I was working in New York City in advertising sales but I was not loving it. My roommate at the time was someone that I grew up with from my hometown. She had just gotten a job as a receptionist at the Haworth showroom in New York. I started hanging out with her and some of her work friends. One day I came home, and I said, “I can't do this anymore” and she said, “Oh, one of our dealers is looking for somebody”. That is how I got started. This past February was 30 years in the office furniture industry.
What is the most important trend or change you see in the industry today?
This is going to age me, but it boils down to computers. When I first started, there was not a computer on every desk. I remember only designers had computers because they were learning AutoCAD. We typed on a typewriter and sent quotes to people via fax. The Internet and computers are really what has changed our industry so much. Now we can work everywhere and just about anything that you need, you can get on the Internet. You don't even need to have binders. You can simply assemble everything from your computer.
If you could meet one person in history, who would it be and why?
I'd probably have to go with someone like Queen Victoria or Joan of Arc. Someone who is a strong woman, overcame adversity, and had to lead when most people didn't think that a woman was capable.
Who was the greatest influence in your career?
My first job in the industry was working for a Haworth dealer here in the city and it was run by a very dynamic woman, Rosalie Edson, who retired from the industry last year. As a mentor, I couldn't have asked for anyone better. She started selling hats at Lord & Taylor in New York when she was sixteen years old. She went into her family's garment business and took over the furniture dealer from her husband and built it into a major force here in New York. She taught me everything that I know. There are many ways to sell but when you find somebody who is very successful, stick by them, listen to them, see how and what they do and then make it your own. Rosalie taught me so much about the industry, about people, about relationships and what's important to be successful in our industry.
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
I would like to learn a second language. I know enough to be dangerous when I'm traveling. I know a little Spanish and a little French. The ability to speak another language is a skill I would love to have.
What three adjectives best describe you?
Positive - Energetic - Tenacious. It may be a little New Age kind of thinking, but I believe that what you put out into the world is what you get back. I believe in thinking about the most positive outcomes and treating people with respect. I feel like it comes back to you.
If you could have two superpowers, what would they be and why?
I would want to fly. One of my loves is to travel so if I could take myself there, that would be amazing. A second superpower might be super strength.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
My passion is to travel. I love to go to exotic lands and faraway places. I try to leave the country at least twice a year because it's so great to meet people from different cultures and to experience their day-to-day lives, the food, the architecture, etc.
What are some career advice and keys to success?
I think it goes back to positive thinking. Whatever your job is, look at it as something that brings you happiness and joy. Then, put all your happiness and joy into it and you will be a success. I think when it comes to sales, it is about finding a connection with people. No matter what happens in business, you are doing business with people so it's important to understand them, try to find a way to connect with them, find some commonality and, obviously, always do what you say you're going to do. One of the things Rosalie told me is that in business you must always be honest. When you're honest and you tell people the truth, you will never have to remember what you said. We work in a very complex industry with a lot of moving parts. Sometimes there's bad news and sometimes there are things outside of your control. If you're upfront about it, most people are reasonable and will recognize that you're going to do whatever you can to address it.
ELIZABETH, NJ (September 2018): BFI, one of the largest office furniture planning dealerships in the NY/NJ metropolitan area, is pleased to announce the hiring and appointment of Kate Kerpchar as President and CEO effective immediately. Kate brings with her more than 17 years of business management experience, the last 6 of which is as the owner and founder of Lotus Rose Industries LLC, a certified women-owned project management and consulting firm that specializes in tenant representation for corporate office relocations and renovations. Kate was also employed by CRESA NY as a SVP of Project Management which followed a 13 year tenure as Director, Head of Facilities and Administration for the Asset Management business at Deutsche Bank.
Kate succeeds Daniel F. Morley, who joined BFI in 1984; becoming President in 1997 and CEO in 2016. Under Dan’s leadership the firm has achieved significant growth and now employs over 75 people in three offices and celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Dan will transition into a consulting role to ensure a successful change of control.
The BFI brand is well known throughout the real estate and architectural community and has completed some of the most visible projects in the marketplace including Pansonic’s relocation to Newark, the BASF North America Headquarters and Bayer Healthcare’s consolidation.
“Kate’s achievements in the corporate environment, her successful experience in starting and managing her own firm coupled with our outstanding leadership team, will take our company to the next level. This is an exciting time for BFI and I look forward to working with Kate on a seamless transition” said Mr. Morley when asked about this decision.
Ms. Kerpchar stated, “BFI has a reputation for being the best in the business and I have had the pleasure of working with Dan and his staff on several projects over the past five years, which has allowed me to meet many of the employees. What is incredibly impressive is how loyal its employees are with an average tenure of over 18 years! It is an honor and privilege to have been given the opportunity to assume this leadership role at BFI. I am excited to continue to build upon the legacy of excellence that BFI is known for and am grateful for the opportunity given to me by the Gold family.”
For more information, contact Kate Kerpchar, President and CEO at firstname.lastname@example.org or 908-926-6167.
Company URL: www.bfionline.com
Workplaces have come a long way. With millennials and Gen Z entering the workforce, office interiors have been constantly evolving. Modern design techniques have been incorporated to improve efficiency, enhance productivity, and inspire innovation.
Is sitting all day at work slowly killing you? The simple answer is yes. Staying in a fixed position for extended durations can have serious adverse effects on your health. READ MORE
This month's bfi Inner Circle networking group led by Stephanie Badillo featured a luncheon and showroom tour at Gunlocke. Thank you Gunlocke for your hospitality!
On January 10, 2018 Stephanie Badillo, Business Development Manager of bfi, attended the REDinNYC Networking Event along with bfi Vice President, Keith Kreindler. bfi was one of the several sponsors for this networking event whose mission is to introduce, support and promote individuals and businesses that are involved in in real estate development projects throughout New York, across the country, and internationally.
The REDinNYC event offers the best networking experiences and the best care towards the needs of those who have a passion for real estate. Their goal is to improve the operations of their customers through the implementation of new communication infrastructures and systems.
Sponsoring this event was an opportunity to gain visibility for bfi New York into the NYC Real Estate Developer community. There has never been an office furniture dealer at these events. Stephanie has been a member for over a year as a Developer and it was a good opportunity for her to showcase her new role as well as bfi’s services to the group.
During the event Stephanie was introduced to many corporate real estate developers and brokers who were not familiar with bfi or its services. Her target market is to provide them with move in ready solutions that will enable them to lease their properties faster and for longer term commitments.
Surprisingly, Stephanie was approached, filmed and interviewed by a reporter. Watch the video here.
To learn more about this event or speak with Stephanie you may contact her at
Business Development Manager, bfi
237 West 35th Street, Suite 1004
New York, NY 10001
is pleased to announce
the appointment of
to our New York City office.
Stephanie’s career spans three decades in the luxury Interior Design and Real Estate arena. Operating through her own development firm and representing various manufactures, she has produced high end residential and commercial properties throughout the United States. Stephanie’s office furniture background stems from working with a Herman Miller dealer back in 1999. She has made several appearances on HGTV, Food Network and the Today Show as well as written articles for numerous trade publications.
Please welcome Stephanie to our team!
is pleased to announce
the appointment of
to our New York City office.
Cathy has been in the industry over 25 years and has worked in all aspects of this industry.
She has owned and operated a furniture dealership and design firm. She has worked for Herman Miller in New Jersey.
Cathy, has a stellar reputation in the industry and is known for putting the client first and building relationship.
For the last 2 years, Cathy has worked in Manhattan in the Architectural and Design community developing brand and product awareness for ALUR Walls (Smart Space).
Awards: Business of Women of the Year, Top Sales Person of Year numerous
Please welcome Cathy to our team!
The bfi New York office celebrated the grand opening of their new office by throwing a Cinco de Mayo party held last evening at their new location at 237 West 35th Street. Several of our manufacturer reps, clients and friends attended this very festive evening filled with Latin music, Salsa dancing, Mexican food, and some awesome tequila!
Office culture and layouts have evolved tremendously over the past few years, thanks in part to the startup and tech world. Layouts that feature comfortable creative spaces, collaboration-focused work stations and an overall fun environment is a trend that is here to stay.
While Silicon Valley startups were the first to debut this type of office environment, it has now caught on with companies of all sizes and across a wide range of industries. It's a trend that I personally see becoming even more popular -- the benefits of this type of office environment are hard to deny.
Check out the infographic below by Rove Concepts that highlights fifteen popular modern office furniture and layout trends that you can get some inspiration from to help transform your current office into a more productive and creative space.
As seen on Entrepreneur.com