Brian Walker is a Partner, Strategic Leadership with Huron Capital. Huron Capital is an operationally-focused lower middle market private equity firm. Brian plays a critical role in helping generate superior operating and financial performance within Huron’s portfolio companies. Brian is a hands-on resource providing the business insights and strategic direction to portfolio company management teams necessary to create value in the private equity environment.
Prior to joining Huron Capital in 2018, Brian was the President and CEO of Herman Miller, Inc., overseeing the global company’s efforts to create solutions that inspire better places for people to work, learn, heal and live. Brian was named President and COO of the Company in 2003, and assumed the title of CEO in 2004. Herman Miller has annual revenue of $2.5 billion, 8,500 employees and serves customers in 109 countries.
Under Brian’s leadership, Herman Miller implemented a transformative business strategy called “SHIFT,” and has made purposeful strides toward positioning itself globally as a premium lifestyle brand. The strategic shift to an industry‐plus‐consumer brand has redefined Herman Miller as the only Company in the furnishings space to serve consumers and contract customers across a multi‐channel platform. Under Brian’s leadership, Herman Miller was recognized by Contract magazine as the most Inspiring Furniture Company, by Fast Company magazine as one of the most Innovative Companies, by Fortune magazine as one of the Best Places to Work and, several publications for leadership regarding Inclusion and Sustainability.
Brian was appointed President of Herman Miller North America in 2000, a role in which he oversaw the Company’s core business operations for the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. During
this period, Brian transformed Herman Miller into a lean enterprise. He developed a long‐term partnership with the Toyota Supplier Support Center that resulted in the creation of the Herman Miller Performance System (HMPS).
Beginning in 1995, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Herman Miller, Inc., where he developed a strong team and an internationally respected Finance organization. Under Brian’s leadership, the Company adopted the Economic Value Added (EVA) methodology of measuring business performance and compensating employees. Prior to that, he held various financial management positions within Herman Miller’s International operations. Before joining Herman Miller, Brian worked as a CPA for the accounting firm Arthur Andersen.
Brian is the Lead Director of Briggs and Stratton Corporation, chair’s the Compensation Committee and serves on the Finance Committee. Brian is also a member of the Board of Directors for Universal Forest Products, Inc., Cooper Tire, Inc., Gentex Inc., And, Cascade Engineering a privately held company in Headquartered in Western Michigan.
Brian is a civic and philanthropic leader. Brian serves on the Advisory Board of the University of Iowa Institute for Vision Research, and founded Sam’s Scramble for Sight. These organizations are focused on developing cures for inheritable eye disease that often lead to blindness. He is a member of the board of Trustees of Davenport University. Brian previously was served on the board of: The Right Place, Inc., West Michigan’s regional economic development organization. Business Leaders for Michigan. The Federal Reserve Bank of Detroit. The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association (BIFMA). And, the Michigan State University Broad School of Business.
Brian’s work at Herman Miller has been featured in several books and publications including Merchants of Virtue, EVA: The Real Key to Creating Wealth and a few others. In May of 2018, Brian also received the Peter C. Cook Excellence in Business Award, demonstrating professional success and commitment to community service and support.
Brian is a graduate of Michigan State University, and he enjoys biking, golfing, skiing, and martial arts. Brian and his wife, Colleen, have three children and reside in Naples, Florida and Holland, Michigan.