How companies are navigating the return to office post-pandemic
While companies wrestle with new ways of working, a range of solutions, and a range of employee reactions to those solutions, are emerging. The office offers places to build important relationships and work collaboratively toward business objectives. So why has a return to the office been so challenging — and what can business leaders do to transform their space to support people and earn the commute?
Join One Detroit and the Detroit Economic Club for a conversation with Steelcase Inc. President and CEO Sara Armbruster and Rocket Companies President and COO Bill Emerson to hear how they’re managing this new reality and why they still believe work is better when people are together.
Sara Armbruster, President/CEO, Steelcase Inc.
Sara Armbruster is the President and CEO of Steelcase Inc., the company trusted by organizations around the world to create inspiring, productive, adaptable, and safe workplaces. In addition to her role on the company’s board of directors, Sara brings executive experience from several positions to the office of CEO, which she assumed in October 2021. Most recently, she served as executive vice president of Steelcase and, before that, as vice president, strategy, research and digital transformation. As leader of this group, Sara was responsible for advancing digital technologies and digital transformation at Steelcase, as well as leadership of the IT organization.
Sara also has had responsibility for a range of innovation activities including global design research, the design and implementation of new business models, and the development of external growth opportunities, including acquisitions and partnerships. ln addition, in past roles Sara has had oversight for the company’s Applied Research + Consulting practice, Steelcase Health, Steelcase Education and the PolyVision subsidiary, which Steelcase divested in 2019.
Before joining Steelcase, Sara served as vice president of business development at Banta Corporation, a publicly traded global printing and supply chain services company based in Menasha, Wisconsin. ln that role, she led strategy development and managed all merger and acquisition activity. Sara also worked for McKinsey & Company in Boston, Massachusetts and Andersen Consulting in New York, New York. Her consulting experience spanned industries and included work in North America, Europe and Asia.
Sara currently serves on the board of directors of Winnebago Industries and Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose. She also sits on the boards of Business Leaders for Michigan, The Right Place and BIFMA, and she is a trustee of the Steelcase Foundation.
Sara holds a bachelor’s degree in Slavic languages and literatures from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut; a master’s degree in international relations from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.; and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Bill Emerson, President/COO, Rocket Companies
Bill Emerson is President and Chief Operating Officer of Rocket Companies. Since August 2020, he has also served as Vice Chairman of Bedrock. In this role, he is responsible for leadership, growth and development of culture. From 2002 to 2017, Bill was Chief Executive Officer of Rocket Mortgage, the Company’s flagship business, a position he held for 15 years.
Bill is a member of the Board of Directors of Xenith, Inc., a football helmet company dedicated to advancing safety through innovation and education; the United Way of Southeast Michigan; Detroit Economic Club; Detroit Sports Organizing Committee; Housing Policy Council; Mortgage Bankers Association; National Football Foundation; Rocket Giving Fund; The Parade Company; the Detroit Children’s Fund and the Skillman Foundation. Bill earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Penn State University.
Bill’s extensive leadership roles in our key businesses for many years gives him a unique understanding of our business, culture and history through many economic cycles, which is particularly critical given recent executive transitions and the current macroeconomic challenges. His senior leadership experience also will provide our Board with valuable perspective in significant areas of oversight such as long-term strategy, budgeting, risk management, human capital management and succession planning.
Subscribe to One Detroit’s YouTube Channel & Don’t miss One Detroit Mondays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.