I am Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Foldcraft Co., one of the most innovative, interesting companies you've never heard of! Foldcraft is a 56 year-old, 100% employee-owned manufacturer of furniture and furnishings for the restaurant and hospitality marketplaces, and is the parent company of Plymold Seating, Millwork & More (both of Kenyon, Minnesota), BKR Designs, Inc. (a commercial upholsterer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota) and WB Powell (a high-end millwork firm in Corona, California).
As important as its varied products, services and customer breadth is the purpose that Foldcraft has identified for itself: "We Create Environments That Touch Lives!" Whether that purpose is applied to the Company's customers, employees (or "members," as they are called), sales agents, supply chain or the entire world in which it resides, Foldcraft strives to live up to that calling on multiple levels.
I have served Foldcraft for 30 years, the past 14 of which have been in the role of CEO. Eventually transitioning from more than 20 years in the Human Resources field, I have presided over the Company's embrace of initiatives such as establishment of an employee-ownership culture (Foldcraft was recognized as the Outstanding Employee-Owned Company in the Country in 1998), open-book management, corporate social responsibility (a past recipient of the Council on Economic Priorities' "Corporate Conscience Award"), Servant Leadership principles, Lean Thinking, and creation of the affiliated Foldcraft Foundation.
Other members of Foldcraft and I have been frequent presenters on topics of cultural and operational transformation of business. Whether due to its employee-owned persona, the dramatically-changing markets served or just a plain old desire to try something new, Foldcraft has often found itself on the leading edge of new ways of thinking and acting in the workplace. From one of the very first Employee Assistance Programs in the State of Minnesota to its 100% employee ownership to its Cross Boundaries travel seminars for members, Foldcraft has been a willing experimenter in the ways of transformation. Of course, an important tool for that spirit is learning from and through lots of other sources.
That's what this blog site is intended to do, in part to air perspectives and observations and questions, and to engage in the wisdom and insights of others. Topics might pertain to business or economics or people, or simply a reflection of curiosities that Foldcraft or I have experienced along the way. In any event, the intent is to learn from and contribute to this forum, in an effort to continue the wonderful, awesome, inspiring process of transformation from who we were yesterday to who we could be tomorrow. – less–ZoomInfo