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Company Timeline

1980

A new Holland seating plant is built. The Building B production site is converted to office space.

Max De Pree becomes chairman and chief executive officer.

1981

Burdick Group is introduced.

V-Wall movable walls are introduced.

Herman Miller's Energy Center begins burning waste to generate power--both electrical and steam--to run the company's million-square-foot Main Site manufacturing facility.

1982

Tradex, Inc., becomes a Herman Miller subsidiary, providing easy-to-acquire workstations, casegoods, and seating. Its name is later changed to Phoenix Designs and then to Miller SQA.

Vaughan Walls, Inc., a manufacturer of movable, modular walls, becomes a Herman Miller subsidiary.

1983

A special stock-ownership plan establishes all Herman Miller employees as shareholders.

1984

Herman Miller opens facilities in England and France.

The Equa chair, the Ethospace system, and the Eames sofa are introduced.

1985

Milcare, a wholly owned subsidiary, is formed from the company's Health/Science Division, which began in 1971. It will be renamed Herman Miller for Healthcare in 1999.

The Worldesign Congress names Charles Eames "The Most Influential Designer of the Century" and Action Office "The Most Significant Design" since 1960.

Dealerships open in Korea, Malaysia, and Australia.

Herman Miller Research Corporation publishes The Negotiable Environment.

1986

George Nelson dies.

The Custom Choices Division is established to offer nonstandard products.

Construction of the Design Yard in Holland, Michigan, begins.

The Scooter stand is introduced.

1987

Action Office enhancements become Action Office Encore (later renamed Action Office Series 2).

Dick Ruch is named Herman Miller CEO, the first person outside of the De Pree family to hold that title.

Newhouse Group furniture is introduced.

1988

Ray Eames dies.

Max De Pree publishes Leadership is an Art.

Ergon 2 chairs and Ethospace support cabinets are introduced.

1989

The Equa chair wins a Design of the Decade award from Time magazine.

Herman Miller employees create the Environmental Quality Action Team (EQAT) to coordinate environmental programs company-wide and involve as many employees as possible.

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