SMARTdesks CEO—Jeffrey Korber—Named to Axial's Growth 100 List of the Best and Brightest MiddleMarket CEOs Across Industry

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Axial, the online network connecting private companies to capital, takes time to acknowledge and celebrate the leaders who are responsible for driving the growth and innovation in the American middle market. Today, SMARTdesks’ CEO, Jeffrey Korber, is named to Axial’s Growth 100 List.

Korber is one of Axial's top 100 best and brightest CEOs

SMARTdesks CEO Jeffrey Korber Named to Axial's Growth 100

Collaborating with our customers to transform their analog spaces to digital environments puts us all on the empowering, competitive edge.

SMARTdesks, maker of custom collaborative computer conference tables and classroom furniture, announces that Jeffrey Korber has been named to Axial’s Growth 100, a list of the best and brightest middle market CEOs across industry. The recognition came in time to celebrate the second annual Middle Market Monday, a day that recognizes the accomplishments of CEOs and owners of U.S. middle market businesses.

When asked for comment, Jeff says his most valuable asset is his customers. He believes in continuing to manufacture solely in the U.S. This helps SMARTdesks avoid exposing its customers to the variables like transportation and politics, as well as logistical complications that come with outsourcing. “We’re really a just-in-time manufacturer. We can produce products quickly and efficiently, through the use of computerized manufacturing and design.”

Having grown a successful custom cabinetry business and with deep experience in everything from design to fabrication to installation, Jeff founded a business in the mid 1990s with the idea that PCs, the internet, and other work-enabling technologies would require the physical workspace to be reimagined. He predicted the massive, immovable mahogany desks of many professionals’ past would soon be replaced with flexible, streamlined surfaces. The primary purpose of the desk of the future would be to support the technology that would become the centerpoint of an individual’s workday and every company’s operations.

Early on, Jeff’s focus was on creating what he coined as “technology furnishings” for higher and mid-level education. “At that time, there was no real computer lab,” remembers Jeff. “ Architects didn’t really know how to build them.” In those years SMARTdesks built podiums, desks, conference tables that housed the giant 70 lb. Dell boxes being used then.

It soon became clear that the real opportunity wasn’t in building the desks and office equipment, but in helping the entire corporate furnishings industry adapt to a new normal. After selling the initial venture, Jeff founded SmartDesks as a wholly online business bringing together all of the outside suppliers involved in designing, manufacturing, installing, and services tech-enabled workspaces. “SmartDesks came into its infancy, providing a market for people to buy the room, design, ergonomics, fit and finish for their furniture that had never held equipment like that before,” says Jeff.

According to Jeff, there’s a lot that goes into creating an office that’s equipped to handle the plethora of technological tools that power corporate America. From flooring systems that handle both electric and data to considering monitor arms, keyboards, and “cable management,” SmartDesks is solving problems that didn’t exist before to the computer age.

Older spaces also frequently need overhauls. Whether it’s converting old libraries to “digital commons areas” or ensuring new layouts meet ADA standards for accessibility, Jeff says his company helps convert analog space to digital space the way a general contractor manages a new construction project from the ground up.

As offices and learning space continue to be upgraded, it’s essential that Jeff and SmartDesks maintain a flexible and adaptable outlook. “In the end, a piece of equipment is ultimately just a physical box,” says Jeff. “Part of our discovery process is knowing what’s being used and how it’s being used.”

Jeff’s business model is cloud-based: SmartDesks employs virtual employees and salespeople, and they’ve invested in an online platform which allows them to easily communicate with suppliers. They do have a web store with which they are beginning to chart into the B2C waters.

Jeff’s customers already span from Alaska to Australia, but he points to room for growth. “We’re still a small business,” says Jeff. SmartDesks has made a conscious decision to invest in its own growth, focusing on being the best at what they do rather than maximizing revenue at this point in time.

With growing demand for their services and not an overwhelming amount of competition, Jeff believes some of the growth choices he has made will serve the company well and that his most valuable asset is his customers. He believes in continuing to manufacture solely in the U.S. This helps SmartDesks avoid exposing its customers to the variables like transportation and politics, as well as logistical complications that come with outsourcing. “We’re really a just-in-time manufacturer. We can produce products quickly and efficiently, through the use of computerized manufacturing and design.”

“Once a year, we take time to acknowledge and celebrate the leaders who are responsible for driving the growth and innovation in the American middle market,” said Peter Lehrman, founder and CEO of Axial. “This group of CEOs should be recognized for their many important accomplishments; we are honored that they have chosen Axial’s platform to help them find the accomplishments; we are honored that they have chosen Axial’s platform to help them find the resources and capital they need to set their courses for 2016 and beyond.”

Every year, Axial, the online network connecting private companies to capital, celebrates middle market businesses on Middle Market Monday. As part of the 2016 celebration, the company compiled a list of the 100 most interesting CEOs in the middle market based on nominations from Axial’s 22,000+ member base. Additionally, nominations were also received from chambers of commerce and other industry associations. CEOs were nominated across several categories including Innovation, Brand-building, Leadership Style, Customer Experience, Thought Leadership, Company Culture, and Growth Strategy.

SMARTdesks designs and manufactures innovative, custom computer conference tables and computer classroom furniture. Each product is made to order, nuanced for the technology, purpose and interior design choices for the space. SMARTdesks is the patent holder for flipIT® products and is the sole source for flipIT and factory integrated flipIT furniture products. Serving universities, corporations, government and military clients world-wide, SMARTdesks furniture is made in the USA using Certified GREEN manufacturing methods. For more information, contact smartdesks through the web site— http://www.smartdesks.com

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John Kessell
SMARTdesks
+1 8007707042 Ext: 809
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Jeffrey Korber
SMARTdesks
8007707042 801
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SMARTdesks
since: 10/2011
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