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Team - leadership
When Richard “Dick” Oakes became owner of Business Furniture in 1987, he recognized its growth potential for the future. At the time Dick decided to purchase the company, he was employed at Steelcase Inc., the industry’s manufacturing leader in office furniture, where he held several management positions. As Chairman of the Board of Business Furniture, Dick remains extremely involved in our company and makes contributions to the organization and its processes. Dick and his wife, Mary Beth, live in Indianapolis with their three King Charles Spaniels.
Dick Oakes, Owner
Mary has a rich history with Business Furniture spanning 25 years in various roles always rooted in the customer experience. Managing the Client Services team, she played a key role in creating our current order process to better serve our clients and ensures the integrity of that process on a daily basis.Mary has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business at IUPUI. She lives in Indianapolis with husband Kevin “Buzz,” daughter Monica, and son Logan. She loves having coffee on her patio in the morning and s’mores by the firepit in the evening. If it were up to Mary, every day would be Christmas—she loves the music, smells, movies, stories, and family traditions.
Mary Meredith, VP of Client Services
Connie Brune has a rich background in finance and accounting, transitioning from financial leadership in luxury retail to her current role as Vice President of Finance at Business Furniture. Connie oversees the financial health and strength of Business Furniture, as well as our financial and IT partnerships. Connie earned a bachelor of science in Accounting and an MBA from Indiana University. She passed all four parts of the Certified Public Accountant Exam on her first try—a feat only 10% of test takers accomplish. Connie and her husband, Doug, have four children and live in Carmel.
Connie Brune, VP of Finance
Mary Beth, or “MB” as she is known by friends and colleagues, is the CEO of Business Furniture. Mary Beth began her career with Business Furniture over 22 years ago. Mary Beth combines her sharp business acumen and change-management knowledge with a commitment to see all clients succeed. In 2008, Mary Beth created Choreo, a change management company. With a focus on productivity and engagement, Mary Beth has developed transformational implementation strategies for clients such as Eli Lilly, Rolls-Royce, Cummins, Roche Diagnostics, One America, Eskenazi Health, and Wellpoint. Mary Beth is a proud alum of DePauw University. She serves on the boards of the Community Health Network Foundation, Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Pass the Torch for Women Foundation, Indy Reads, and the Indianapolis Zoo.
Mary Beth Oakes, CEO
TJ Schooley joined us as an installer over 20 years ago, and has worked with many of Business Furniture’s largest customers, including Eli Lilly. Ensuring quality and service is what TJ’s role is all about. TJ leads the entire Operations team, and takes an active role in the installation, service, and delivery of every Business Furniture project.TJ and his wife, Hannah, and son, Brock, live in Indianapolis. When he’s not overseeing Business Furniture installations, you can find TJ on the baseball diamond, coaching travel baseball.
TJ Schooley, VP of Operations
As Vice President, Human Resources, Suzanne is responsible for fueling the employee engine that is known for attracting, developing, and retaining great employees who enjoy Business Furniture’s collaborative, innovative culture. With a personal passion for cracking the code on what makes people tick, fit, contribute, and succeed, Suzanne’s Human Resources career began at Business Furniture in 1994, not long after Dick Oakes bought the company. Her desire to grow in the HR field led her to Chicago to work for larger organizations such as McKinsey & Company, before returning her to the Business Furniture family just in time for the company’s move to its Bearing Drive location. Suzanne and her partner, Barry, live in Carmel, with their pug, Tulip.
Suzanne Oakes, VP of Human Resources
Carol has extensive experience in furniture, with 27 years at Business Furniture and 32 total years in the industry. At Business Furniture, Carol has positively impacted nearly every department, serving customer service, design, project management, and sales. She is currently Vice President of Workplace Specialists and Design, ensuring her teams deliver innovative workplace solutions to our valued customer base.An “Army brat,” Carol spent her high schools years in Ansbach Germany before attending IUPUI in Indianapolis. She and her husband, Rob, have two sons and three grandsons, and love to travel.
Carol Payne, VP of Workplace Specialists
Terry Richard has had a remarkable trajectory, starting with the company 22 years ago in Installation. Terry has held many roles at Business Furniture, always delivering outstanding service to his clients and colleagues. In his previous role as Workplace Specialist, he served many of our key clients, including Cummins and Eli Lilly. In his current role, Terry doesn’t pursue merely business, he seeks relationships that can make a difference in Indiana and Ohio organizations.Terry is an Indianapolis native. He and his wife, April, have three sons: Donnie, Kaleb and Logan. The family loves to vacation in Destin, FL, and play beach volleyball and UNO.
Terry Richard, VP of Business Development
Jamie has 10+ years of professional experience steeped in marketing and communications. She is a passionate storyteller, both written and through the lens of photography. At Business Furniture, she ensures customer and partner engagement through events, sponsorships, advertising, and social media. Jamie is a proud alumna of Indiana University, where she earned a bachelor of arts in Journalism. She and her husband Nathan, daughter Parker, and son Beckham live in Bloomington and enjoy canoeing traveling. She loves to cook and is always working on a DIY interior design/décor project at home.
Jamie Witt, Director of Marketing & Brand Strategy
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