American Futures

Holland, MI & The Big Three

The American Futures

James and Deborah Fallows, The Atlantic Monthly journalists have set out to rediscover America….reinvention and resilience

Their first stop was Holland, MI…..30 miles south of Muskegon. Holland is a Lake Michigan lakeshore town…..with some highly successful businesses. Holland also has a viable downtown with an unusal innovation….snow-free walkways…..underground steam conduits that melt the snow with the steam generated from the nearby power plant.

Holland is also associated with the top 3 manufacturers in the office furniture industry; Steelcase (Grand Rapids)….Haworth (Holland)….Herman Miller (Zealand).

In the early 80’s, I visited all three manufacturers on a consulting project….Haworth somewhat newer than Steelcase and Herman Miller. All three were well-managed businesses….with Herman Miller standing out because of its design influences and leadership by Max dePree.

The article by James Fallows adequately describes Holland.  A plus to the story is the idea of flying to the story locations in a small aircraft.

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