KI's President & CEO Dick Resch Featured As One of the Nation's Top Executives in Major Business Book, 'Mavericks At Work'

Tom Peters says: 'I didn't read this book. I devoured it.'

Sep 29, 2006, 01:00 ET from KI

    GREEN BAY, Wis., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Dick Resch, president and CEO
 of KI, was selected as one of America's top business innovators profiled in
 "Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win" (William
 Morrow), an important new book by William C. Taylor and Polly LaBarre that
 presents fresh new ways to lead, compete and succeed in business.
     (Photo: )
     Resch was credited with leading the company in innovative approaches to
 customer collaboration and product development. Under his direction, KI has
 leapt in the past two decades from the 25th largest industry player to a
 major force that ranks in the top five.
     The authors praise KI as a "truly distinctive workplace," with a rate
 of growth in the past two decades that cannot be overstated. Among the
 select group of companies profiled in the book, Taylor and LaBarre single
 out KI's unique "Market-of-One" strategy, in which employees work closely
 with clients to deliver highly tailored and customized products. Its
 approach has made the company "a force to be reckoned with."
     "Recognition in this book is an affirmation of the values and strengths
 that have set us apart from the competition," says Resch. "In leading KI to
 success, I have focused on giving employees the tools, knowledge and
 confidence to excel at their jobs, and to understand our customers'
 businesses and industries in devising solutions that meet their unique
     The book emphasizes that when Resch signed on as a junior executive in
 1964, sales hovered at $4 million. Currently, KI has 3,500 employees and
 annual revenues of $600 million, a staggering financial increase that has
 largely been accomplished in-house. The phenomenal success of KI is the
 natural result of a workplace in which "every person understands what makes
 the business tick."
     Among Resch's maverick ideas is the use of company sales
 representatives to directly target end users in core markets, a strategy
 that guides KI in designing furniture to meet their customers' unique
 needs. Resch also established a culture of open exchange and company-wide
 give-and-take, with monthly meetings for all managers to review operations
 in-depth. Resch's primary goal is to teach every employee to think like a
 CEO, generating personal interest and incentive to excel.
     KI manufactures innovative furniture and wall system solutions for
 college & universities, K-12, healthcare, government and corporate markets.
 The employee-owned company is headquartered in Green Bay, Wis. and operates
 sales offices and manufacturing facilities in the United States, Canada,
 Europe and Asia. KI tailors products and service solutions to the specific
 needs of each customer through its unique "Market of One" customer service
 and manufacturing philosophy. For more information, visit
     Melissa Hantman
     Eric Mower and Associates