HOLLAND — Aggressive growth plans for the future spurred Trendway Corp. to add a new top executive who will share management responsibilities.
Trendway, a small but growing player in the office furniture industry with nearly $100 million in annual sales, last week named Mark Groulx as president and chief operating officer. He’ll assume responsibility for day-to-day operations of the company when he starts April 9.
Company President Don Heeringa, whose family bought Trendway in 1973, will become chairman and chief executive officer and give up the day-to-day duties in order to focus on Trendway’s long-term business strategy.
The addition to the company’s top management comes at a time when Trendway has set a goal of doubling its size within five years. That required the 54-year-old Heeringa to split his duties and recruit new leadership as he focuses more on “the bigger picture issues,” he said.
“We have some pretty ambitious plans,” Heeringa said “The issue was providing added management and leadership to provide guidance as we head to the future.”
In Groulx, Trendway found someone “who possesses the character traits and management style that will complement our business goals,” Heeringa said.
The 45-year-old Groulx (pronounced grew) has 24 years of experience in the manufacturing sector, most recently serving as president and chief operating officer for Prince Manufacturing in Holland, a metal stamping company he helped to start in 1997 with Erik Prince, son of the late Edgar Prince.
Groulx previously worked in the office furniture industry as a senior vice president of operations at Herman Miller Inc., from 1993 to 1997.
Groulx was drawn to the Trendway position because it offered a chance to return to the office furniture industry. Trendway is also “the right size” company where he can have a significant impact on its direction and future, he said.
At Herman Miller, Groulx said he “learned to love” the office furniture industry. The allure stems from the need to possess a “creative element” to handle the design side of the business, while also having a good understanding of operational disciplines, Groulx said.
“It’s one of those business where you have to use both sides of your brain to be successful,” he said.
Trendway, which serves primarily small and medium-sized companies, employs nearly 500 people at its 420,000-square-foot Holland Township facility.