BIFMA inaugurates first woman President at annual meeting
At the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association (BIFMA) Annual Meeting on June 11, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois, Rebecca Boenigk, Chairman and CEO of Neutral Posture, Inc., steps into uncharted territory. Boenigk is the first woman ever to hold the prestigious position of President for this non-profit organization established to lead, advocate, inform and develop standards for the North American office and institutional furniture industry.
Boenigk succeeds past BIFMA president, Brian Walker, president and CEO of Herman Miller. Boenigk was elected by her industry peers as Vice President/President-Elect of BIFMA in 2007, after years of experience and hard work in the office furniture manufacturing industry and serving on the BIFMA Board of Directors since 2004.
Women's Enterprise® USA most recently recognized Boenigk in March 2008 as one of the Top 100 Women's Business Enterprises Impacting Supplier Diversity. She also actively mentors other women entrepreneurs, empowering them with the knowledge and insight she has gained over the last 20 years in the traditionally male industry of office furniture manufacturing.
Boenigk currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and is a Past Chair of the Women's Enterprise Leadership Forum. She is a National Founding Partner of Women Impacting Public Policy and serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for the Economic Empowerment of Women. Rebecca was appointed by Hector Barreto to serve on the National Women's Business Council, which serves as advisors to the President, Congress and U.S. SBA. She also serves on the Enterprising Women Advisory Board, Texas Buildings & Procurement Commission Vendor Advisory Council, and through 2006, served on the Texas Governor's Business Council and U.S. SBA National Advisory Council.
Despite maintaining an active participation in both industry organizations and Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) organizations, Boenigk still makes the time to be a hands-on CEO, mother and wife. At the Neutral Posture headquarters and factory in Bryan, Texas, employees know her merely as "Rebecca" (some simply refer to her affectionately as "Boss Lady") and it is no surprise that she knows each employee by name. A testament to Boenigk's leadership: the average tenure at Neutral Posture is approximately 8 years, including some employees who have been with the company for nearly 18 years.
This most recent achievement of being the first woman ever elected as President of BIFMA only reinforces the fact that it is possible to be successful both in business and in life. Rebecca Boenigk is living proof.
Neutral Posture, the only woman-owned seating manufacturer in the United States, is a Texas-based firm owned and operated by the mother-daughter team of Jaye Congleton and Rebecca Boenigk. Neutral Posture is a certified Women's Business Enterprise (WBE), and is one of the top diversity suppliers for the United States government and Fortune 500 companies.