Office Interiors (OI) and Facilitec are pleased to announce that Rick Robillard has joined their team as Managing Principal for both organizations. With close to 30 years in the industry, Rick brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his position. He looks forward to strengthening both organizations building on a long-standing history of successful projects and stellar client services.
Q: You recently joined Facilitec and OI as Managing Principal. Give us an overview of your background and career path which led you to this position.
A: With more than 28 years of experience in the furniture industry, I began my career with Steelcase. Initially in its management training program, I selected the Atlanta regional office, holding various sales, training, development and management positions. During my tenure at Steelcase, I was instrumental in the growth of the Revest Division, and, through development of a distribution channel, sales team and programs, we grew to almost $200M in sales. This experience also developed my entrepreneurial spirit, and in 2000 I left Steelcase to become the General Manager of National Furniture Liquidators. At that time, NFL was a thriving business in the used furniture brokerage world that was focused on exclusively used and remanufactured furniture. My vision for NFL was to develop a diversified contract dealership that could provide more comprehensive client solutions. Over the years, the business was rebranded to NFL Officeworks, and when I left this year, NFL Officeworks represented over 300 manufactures, was aligned with Allsteel and had locations in Atlanta and upstate South Carolina.
Q: After only a few weeks in your new role, give us some of your initial impressions about OI and Facilitec. What are some of the company’s strengths upon which you intend to build?
A: OI and Facilitec have developed an amazing core business. The teams are very strong, and, together, Founding Principal Bill Coons and I intend to take the core businesses and leverage them in both an integrated and segregated manner based on client needs.
Q: From your past experiences, what are three of your secrets to company success which you plan to implement at Facilitec and OI?
- Create a clear definition of roles and accountability to one another and to our clients.
- Foster a client-focused philosophy in all aspects of our business.
- Stay one step ahead of our client’s needs.
Q: What is one of your personal beliefs/philosophies that crosses over to how you conduct business and run companies?
A: Always treat your employees, customers and vendor partners the way you would like to be treated. There must be philosophical and goal alignment to ensure long-term success.
Q: What do you see as a few of the industry’s most important emerging trends, and how do you see them re-shaping or enhancing the workplace environment?
A: The battle between the open plan collaborative environments and the inherent need for privacy defines our industry’s key emerging trends. Leading manufacturers such as Teknion recognize this struggle and as a result have developed many, flexible, tailored products that can be applied in a holistic manner while allowing a great degree of individualization. It is also important that we consider the mix of generations within the workplace, all with unique working styles. We are the experts and therefore must understand how to apply the furniture and related solutions to meet our client’s business goals.
Q: Tell us a little about life outside the office.
A: My wife Gina, who is also in the furniture industry, and I live in Vinings, so when not in the office, we tend to stay in our wonderful little oasis within the city. When possible, we spend our weekends at the lake admiring the mountains in the distance. We also stay busy with our two great kids and 6-year-old Goldendoodle, Grace, who really runs our home. Dylan, who recently turned 16, attends Mount Paran Christian School, and he is extremely active in school and travel soccer. Caylee, age 20, is a junior at KSU studying education. Even with everyone’s hectic schedule, we have maintained a tradition of eating at the same Mexican restaurant most Wednesday nights for more than 10 years.