A Vision of Success, and a Partner in Realizing It
When Sally Corbin founded Union Services Agency with her father, former Michigan state senator Gary Corbin, she had a vision for what success would look like for the niche insurance provider.
It took 17 years and three moves, but in 2013—with help from Herman Miller’s Small and Medium Business Program—the business she started in her basement finally created a space that lives up to Sally’s vision.
As Union Services Agency has grown, what has space meant to the company?
Corbin: Our office space has always represented where we were at that time as a company—and has been a source of inspiration for us all along, a motivator. I am a very vision-oriented person, setting and attaining goals for myself—sort of always imagining what you are going to look like, until you grow into that vision.
What was it about the converted warehouse near downtown Lansing, where Union Services Agency has been headquartered since 2000, that matched your ideas about the type of space you wanted for the company?
Corbin: It was one of the first renovated warehouses in town, and I thought it was a very forward-thinking space. We actually had a client in the building, and when I delivered a policy to them, I just looked around the building and thought, ‘This is the kind of space we need to be in’—a space that looks to the future and makes you feel good about where you are.
In 2013, when you expanded into the adjacent space in your building, how did you decide to work with Herman Miller?
Corbin: I had gotten on the Herman Miller mailing list years ago, so I had been getting emails for quite a while. I was aware of the Small and Medium Business Program, and I sent them an email when we began to look seriously at expanding. I got a phone call within 24 hours, and they put me in contact with our local representatives. They met with us in our space, and we started talking about the plans we had for the office. There was still a wall up that divided our old office from where we wanted to expand, so we couldn’t entirely imagine what it would look like. But they showed us some digital examples that really gave us a sense of how much space it would afford us.
How would you evaluate Herman Miller as a partner for realizing your vision for space?
Corbin: I think Herman Miller helped us to re-imagine how we see ourselves. They were there to help realize our vision of where and who we wanted to be.