Leadership

Who We Are We are all leaders at Business Furniture; each one us has an entrepreneurial passion and commitment to personally delivering the right solution in the best way for each one of our clients, every day. It's why we love our work, and love the people who trust us to create dynamic, successful workspaces for them. But some hierarchy is good, and these are the people we've entrusted to guide toward our mission, keeping the big picture in view, while leading us in creating excellent solutions every day.

Richard A. Oakes, Chairman of the Board When Richard 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’s current focus is on marketing and his community involvement with several key boards.As an owner, Dick has set an example for excellent customer service by personally calling on many of Business Furniture’s customers. He has put into place a management group consisting of diverse, aggressive individuals who share their business philosophy of a customer- and employee-driven company in a team based environment. “Our reason for being here is to make a difference to our customers,” says Richard Oakes. “It really doesn’t matter what I think; it’s what the customer thinks.”

Dick and his wife Mary Beth live in Indianapolis with their three King Charles Spaniels.

Mary Beth Oakes, CEO Mary Beth, or “MB” as she is known by her friends and colleagues, is the CEO of Business Furniture. She engages with customers directly and through her leadership of the business development team.Mary Beth began her career with Business Furniture over 22 years ago. She has held key positions in marketing and communications and has led teams through many successful initiatives. 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. Choreo continues to serve provide change management insight and training to important organizations throughout Indiana. With a focus on productivity and engagement, Mary Beth has developed transformational implementation strategies for clients such as Lilly, Imclone, Rolls-Royce, Cummins, Roche Diagnostics, One America, Eskenazi Health, Jardin and Wellpoint. Choreo is a Women Owned Business Enterprise (WBE).

“One central idea that is always on my mind is that I am here to make a difference. Whether it’s through building relationships, purposeful actions or time spent developing innovative answers to client challenges, I have to know that I was involved in positive change. It’s what drives me and keeps me engaged and motivated.”

Mary Beth is a proud alum of DePauw University. She serves on the boards of Indy Reads and the Indianapolis Zoo, and also as a member of the Grants Committee of the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana. Mary Beth and her husband, Dick, live in Meridian Hills and are the parents of three beloved King Charles Spaniels.

Terry Richard Terry Richard, Vice President, Sales Terry Richard has had a remarkable trajectory, starting with the company 19 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 most recently, including Cummins and Lilly. As VP of Sales, Terry manages the BF team of Workplace Consultants and partners with our executive team to ensure we are delivering the best possible service and solutions to our customers. Terry is an Indianapolis native. He and his wife, April, have three sons: Donnie, Kaleb and Logan.

TJ Schooley, Vice President, Operations 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. TJ manages the Operations functions for both Indianapolis and Dayton, including installation, service and delivery. TJ and his wife, Hannah, and son, Brock, live in Indianapolis.