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Cleveland: Higher Education Event

APG Office Furnishings in Cleveland hosted the inaugural Higher Education Event in November.

Dr. Chris Zakrzewski faces an audience of over 20 people during the keynote address.

This was a unique opportunity for higher education and interior industry professionals to share knowledge about the connection between student engagement/belonging and retention that leads to revenue. APG also showcased products from multiple partners to provide inspiration for all areas of campus – from classrooms and libraries to residence halls.

Take a look at the major highlights and takeaways of the event!

Meet Our Partners

Herman MillerToni Sams

Herman Miller is a 100-year-old-plus company that places great importance on design, the environment, community service, and the health and well-being of customers and employees alike. Innovative ways to improve the performance of our customers’ organizations have become their hallmark.

Appalachian University Systems/Herman Miller – Rob Galvin

AUS has been supplying colleges, universities and off-campus student housing with quality built furniture since 1992. AUS recently developed a partnership with Herman Miller to provide best value in providing furnishings for all areas on campus.

Clarus GlassboardsMike Steiner

The leading manufacturer of innovative glass dry erase boards. Their glass whiteboards never stain and can be totally customized.

National Office FurnitureKirt Bachman

Contract furniture manufacturer with products for higher education and other market segments, dedicated to offering customers a better value with shorter lead times. National's products and their performance regarding quality, reliability, and sustainability are second-to-none, as evidenced by their on-time delivery rates, durability testing results, and environmental certifications.

The Davis Group of OhioCourtney Bell

Davis & Associates is an independent manufacturer's representative group in contract, commercial, education, healthcare, and hospitality furniture. They proudly represent OFS, Carolina, Dauphin, Mergeworks, Springboard, and Valo brands for the entire state of Ohio.

Seibold Baker & AssociatesKristen Mick

Seibold Baker & Associates is an Independent manufacturer’s representative group, representing fourteen contract manufacturer brands in all segments of commercial interiors, including higher education

Binford & AssociatesTeri Burich

Dan Binford & Associates has been representing quality furnishing in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia for nearly 30 years. Offering solutions in Corporate, Hospitality, Healthcare, and Educational furniture from their vast selection of lines.

JSIScott Kline

Part of the Jasper Group family of brands, JSI is a furniture for business interiors. The JSI brand manufactures seating and casegoods in traditional, transitional and contemporary styles. Not to mention a full range of seating from task to lounge.

Major Takeaways

  • The keynote address by Dr. Chris Zakrzewski shed light on the history of classroom design. This enabled us to contextualize the influence furnishings have on students' educational and social activities.
  • The panel discussion was a wonderful platform to discuss the ways in which the student experience impacts revenue in higher education institutions. It highlighted the pervasiveness of the student experience across all aspects of higher education settings. Students' needs, such as being included in all aspects of their education and feeling a sense of belonging, were shared as being of high importance seeing as they play a big role in student retention rates.
  • The CEUs were excellent opportunities to examine how Generation Z differs from previous ones and the impact that has on the industry. Whether it is their need to control the planning process of their environment or the fact that their attention span is much shorter than that of previous generations, Generations Z proves to be an exciting challenge for interior industry and higher education settings alike.
A mock-up of a college dorm bed with a bedside cabinet and a small desk. The space is decorated with colorful pillows and knickknacks.
A sample dorm room set-up provided by Appalachian University Systems.
A mismatched set of classroom furniture.
A glimpse into the different kinds of chairs, stools, and poofs that can be used in educational settings to create both engaging and comfortable environments.

Thank you for the feedback!

Your feedback, testimonials, and impressions help us grow. Thank you to those who took the time to fill out the event survey. We are working very hard to implement all your comments in the planning process of our upcoming events.

A caricaturist draws the picture of a young blond woman on glass during the event happy hour.
The Higher Education Event also made room for some artistic endeavors as attendees had the opportunity to get their caricatures drawn on glass panels by a professional!

What Next?

A second Higher Education Event is in the works for this spring. Stay tuned for communication on the potential topics we will be covering. We would love to hear your input!


"Really loved the mix of panelists. It was a great variety of perspectives. I would love to hear more research about space utilization in education and higher education settings at future events."
"I found the great insight and research surrounding student learning and spaces to be extremely valuable. I would love to hear more about the evolutions taking place in laboratory design."