Chicago – Dec 1, 2014 – Today, Forward Space, LLC, an independent office furniture dealership,
acquired the assets of OEC, an authorized Steelcase dealer and a fixture in the Chicago business scene,
since 1955. The merger of these two companies will create a stronger, more dynamic Steelcase
Dealership, with the full resources and capabilities to serve the office interiors marketplace.
Former Steelcase executive Jenny Niemann is the principal owner and CEO of Forward Space. “We are
thrilled to have the OEC organization join our new company because of the strong customer relationships
and depth of service that OEC has developed during 60 years in the Chicago market. Merging their
strengths with the talents of our existing organization will support us in our mission to help leading
organizations succeed,” said Niemann. “We are proud to represent Steelcase and we will continue to
provide customers with engaging spaces and environments inspired by advanced research, insights and
Said Frances Riha, CEO of OEC Business Interiors, “The Riha family has been dedicated to ensuring we
take care of our clients and employees. This next thoughtful step in designing our succession, is
important because we care so much about those constituents. We believe they will be well served by
joining forces with the Forward Space team. We want to thank all our clients and employees, it has been
an honor to serve them.”
With this change, two generations of Riha family members will be celebrating their retirement, while three
members of the third generation will be joining the Forward Space team.
ABOUT FORWARD SPACE:
Forward Space, LLC helps clients propel their organizations forward and realize the space and work
environment that is precisely designed for their purpose. We offer comprehensive service and support for
workspace planning, procurement, delivery, installation and on-going maintenance to support our clients’
vision and goals for tomorrow. With interior designs & products to meet any budget, our focus is on the
greater Chicagoland marketplace and we offer local as well as national service support capabilities. We
are a woman owned business and proud to represent the Steelcase Inc. product lines in the market.
ABOUT OEC Business Interiors:
Founded in 1955, OEC Business Interiors, Inc. has been much more than an ordinary furniture
dealership. They are truly a fully integrated interior solutions provider. Their comprehensive portfolio of
knowledge, products and services is one of the best in the industry; and, as a certified
WBE (Woman’s Business Enterprise) with over 50 years of consistent leadership, they have been proven
to be a progressive and stable company.