Virco Manufacturing Corp. NASDAQ:VIRC Management Interview

Virco Manufacturing Corp.
CEO:Robert A. Virtue
VP: Doug Virtue
VP of Finance: Bob Dose


At Virco, we’re committed to providing the best selection of Equipment for Educators™. As America’s leading manufacturer and supplier of furniture and equipment for K-12 schools, Virco employs approximately 1,100 people nationwide. Our 560,000 square-foot Torrance, California headquarters features a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, as does our Conway, Arkansas location, which has approximately 1,750,000 square feet of operational space. Large distribution centers in Torrance and Conway facilitate the quick, efficient shipment of Virco products.

From our earliest days, product development has been a key to Virco’s growth. After getting started in 1950 as a furniture supplier for Los Angeles-area schools, the addition of folding chairs, folding tables and other items soon helped expand our sales to a broadening customer base. More recently, we’ve worked with accomplished designers – like Peter Glass, Bob Mills and Richard Holbrook – to develop products for emerging applications. These include the ergonomically contoured Metaphor®, Telos®, ZUMA®, ZUMAfrd™ and I.Q.® classroom furniture collections, as well as all-new Parameter™ desks, returns and credenzas; TEXT™ tables and desks; the generously proportioned Sage™ Series; durable, supportive Ph.D.® task chairs; and the wide-ranging Plateau® Series. Incidentally, our I.Q. collection was honored with a 2002 Best of NeoCon® Gold Award for design excellence at America’s most prestigious contract furniture trade show, while our Plateau Library & Technology products received a Best of NeoCon® Silver Award the following year. In June of 2004, our diverse ZUMA family of classroom furniture products earned a coveted Best of NeoCon Editors’ Choice Award. And most recently, our highly sustainable ZUMAfrd™ line won a Best of NeoCon 2005 Silver Award and a 2006 ADEX® Platinum Award.

Virco has also led the classroom furniture industry when it comes to indoor air quality. We’re proud to have been the industry’s first manufacturer whose products earned GREENGUARD® for Children and Schools indoor air quality certification. Now, hundreds of Virco products are GREENGUARD certified.

Because customer service is our top priority, Virco maintains a nationwide direct sales team and supports a growing dealer network. Our complete spectrum of support services include: three tiers of product delivery; installation and repair; and the comprehensive PlanSCAPE® service, which helps educational administrators successfully manage large-scale furniture and equipment purchases while saving time and money – and avoiding stress – in the process. In addition, Virco now has a dynamic Take-Back program, enabling schools to recycle their out-of-service furniture components rather than sending these items to a landfill.

Take-Back is only one of the many Corporate Stewardship initiatives we’ve implemented to serve the education community. For instance, our Cash for Cardboard program has helped Conway-area schools earn more than $100,000 through recycling. All told, Virco has reclaimed over 305,000,000 pounds of materials through recycling while earning repeated commendations. Since 1994, we’ve received a series of honors from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), the U.S. General Services Administration, the National Recycling Coalition and the Arkansas Recycling Coalition. Most notably, in 2003, Virco was designated as a charter member of the USEPA’s WasteWise Hall of Fame. At Virco, we’re delighted to be known for a continuing commitment to quality that encompasses both the workplace and the environment.

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