College to honor furniture maker CEO


Brian Walker.

The CEO of an office furniture maker has been selected as the recipient of an award for professional success and community service.

Brian Walker, president and CEO of Herman Miller, will be honored with the 2018 Peter C. Cook Excellence in Business Award at Davenport University’s 21st annual Excellence in Business Dinner Gala.

The gala will be held at 6 p.m., May 4, 2018, at DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, at 303 Monroe Ave. NW.

Ticket information is available here.

The award

The Peter C. Cook Excellence in Business Award is presented annually to an individual who exemplifies professional success and commitment to community service and support.

“Brian Walker’s contributions to business and his service to the West Michigan community are simply outstanding,” said Rick Pappas, president of Davenport University.

He said the Excellence in Business Dinner Gala is the university’s largest annual fundraising event and benefits student scholarships.

“We are looking forward to celebrating Brian’s achievements and … we are grateful for the support of our many generous contributors and the business community who make this such a great event to help deserving students pursue their academic and life goals at Davenport.” 

Walker’s background

Prior to joining Herman Miller, Walker worked as a CPA for the accounting firm Arthur Andersen.

In 1995, he was appointed executive vice president and CFO for Herman Miller. Before that, he held various financial management positions within Herman Miller’s international operations.

He was named president of Herman Miller North America in 2000, president and COO of Herman Miller in 2003 and CEO in 2004. Under his leadership, the company began positioning itself as a global lifestyle brand as well as an office furniture maker.

Walker serves as chair of the board of directors for The Right Place, West Michigan’s regional economic development organization, and serves on the board of directors for Briggs & Stratton Corp., The Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research and Universal Forest Products.

Previously, he served on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Detroit and as president of the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association.

Walker earned a B.B.A. in accounting from Michigan State University.


Founded in 1866, Grand Rapids-based Davenport University is a private, nonprofit school serving nearly 8,000 students at campuses across Michigan and online.

The college offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate programs.

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