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

innovative products.”

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.


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.