Manufacturer appoints ex-furniture maker CEO to board


Brian Walker. Courtesy Herman Miller

A local manufacturer has appointed the former CEO of a furniture maker in the region to its board of directors.

Cascade Township-based Cascade Engineering said last week it named Brian Walker to its board, effective Nov. 29.

Walker recently retired as president and CEO of Zeeland-based Herman Miller.

Christina Keller, Cascade’s president and CEO since September, said Walker is “an exceptional and visionary leader,” and she’s “thrilled” he’s joining the board.

Fred Keller, founder and chair of Cascade Engineering, said the company is “honored and privileged” to have Walker come aboard.

“He has been masterful in guiding the continued integration of the values of Herman Miller’s founding DePree family into the effective operation of the company’s day-to-day business,” Keller said.

Walker said he has always admired Cascade Engineering for its “innovative business practices” and community impact.

“It is a great honor to be asked to serve this outstanding organization,” Walker said. “I look forward to helping Christina Keller, her team and the broader organization write the next chapter in the impressive history of Cascade Engineering.”

At the time of Walker’s retirement, Herman Miller posted $2.3 billion in annual revenue with 8,500 employees serving customers in 109 countries.

Walker received Davenport University’s 2018 Peter C. Cook Excellence in Business Award.

He is board chair for The Right Place in Grand Rapids and a board member for Briggs & Stratton Corporation, The Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research and Grand Rapids Township-based Universal Forest Products.

Walker previously served on the board of directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Detroit and was president of the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association.

He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

Cascade Engineering

Founded in 1973, Cascade Engineering specializes in manufacturing large injection-molded plastic parts.

Its nine business units support a range of markets, including transportation, environmental services, office seating, material handling, polymer compounding and RFID asset management.

The company employs 1,900 people at 13 facilities in North America and has operations in Budapest, Hungary.

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