BIFMA names first president and CEO

Deirdre Jimenez Courtesy BIFMA

The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) chose its first president and CEO.

BIFMA’s board of directors said it appointed Deirdre Jimenez to the newly created role. She succeeds Thomas Reardon, who is retiring after a 22-year tenure as executive director.

Jimenez is an architect and interior designer with over 25 years of leadership experience serving in executive and ownership roles in corporate real estate and national architecture and engineering consulting firms.

“Deirdre’s strategic drive and her distinguished career in workplace architecture and design make her the perfect choice to lead BIFMA in support of the industry,” said Hank Menke, board chair of BIFMA. “We’re thrilled to welcome Deirdre aboard.”

In her new role, Jimenez will be responsible for leading BIFMA and partnering with its board, membership (regular, supplier, service and international) and staff by “connecting and advancing the industry’s common interests through a period of disruption and growth.”

Kristie Juster Courtesy BIFMA

“At this pivotal stage in the commercial furniture industry, I’m very excited to join BIFMA,” Jimenez said. “Building on the organization’s historical focus and growth-oriented initiatives, I look forward to … telling BIFMA’s story and broadening its outreach.”

Jimenez is a registered architect in several states and earned the NCIDQ certification and numerous professional industry awards.

Most of her career focused on the workplace environment, where she developed an understanding and appreciation of the role furnishings play in the emerging practice of workplace strategy.

Matt Schad Courtesy BIFMA

Prior to BIFMA, she was senior vice president, regional executive for Minneapolis-based design firm NELSON Worldwide. Before that, she was principal, global buildings, for Dallas-based civil engineering firm Jacobs.

The search for BIFMA’s next leader was conducted by association and nonprofit search experts Vetted Solutions.

New board members

Also at its May meeting, BIFMA elected two new board members: Kristie Juster, CEO of Jasper, Indiana-based Kimball International, and Matt Schad, CEO of Comstock Park-based Nucraft Furniture Company.


Founded in 1973, BIFMA is a not-for-profit trade association serving business and institutional furniture manufacturers.

The association develops furniture safety, durability and sustainability standards; educates the stakeholder community on the importance and proper use of these standards; provides industry statistics and forecasts to members and the

public; and advocates for regulatory conditions that “enhance value and foster innovation.”

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