Gunlocke Announces Plant Expansion, New Leadership

Gunlocke President Don Mead retired Apr. 7 after 17 years with HNI Corp.
New Gunlocke President Kris Yates

In 2016, Gunlocke launched a new brand identity and focus for the future. Now, 2017 ushers in new leadership at the company – and the chance for the Wayland, New York-based contract furniture manufacturer to make an even larger positive economic impact in its home state.

After 17 years with HNI Corp., Gunlocke’s parent company, and nearly 9 of those spent with Gunlocke, President Don Mead has announced his retirement, effective April 7. Mead is succeeded by Kris Yates, who assumes the role of Gunlocke’s president after serving in multiple leadership positions at another HNI company, Allsteel, since 2002. Most recently, Yates served as Allsteel’s vice president of sales.

“Gunlocke has had a notable evolution over the past few years, and I know that our members, under Kris’ leadership, will continue to move the company forward,” Mead said. “I’m honored to have been a part of this tremendous organization for nearly two decades and am eager to watch its continued success in the future. Gunlocke is in great hands with Kris at the helm.”

Yates, who reports to Jeff Lorenger, president of HNI’s Contract Furniture Group and executive vice president of HNI Corp., will lead Gunlocke into its 115th year of manufacturing operations at the same location in Wayland.

“Don Mead set a standard of leadership excellence for Gunlocke,” Yates said. “I look forward to carrying on this outstanding legacy of service with our members, dealers, architects, designers and end users. We have much to look forward to both imminently and down the road. It’s an exciting time for Gunlocke.”

Yates will continue to oversee the expansion of the company’s production capabilities, and the relocation of production facilities for two of its lines, Hon and Paoli, from Indiana to the Wayland facility, now known as the HNI Center of Excellence. This expansion will provide notable economic benefits for both the region and the state with the potential to lead up to 110 new full-time employees and the retention of about 600 jobs.

For more information about Gunlocke, contact 1-800-828-6300 or visit

About Gunlocke

Since 1902, The Gunlocke Company leads the industry in designing, manufacturing and marketing private office and collaborative contract furniture for professional services clientele and other office environments. Specializing in casegoods, seating and tables, the company carries forward a tradition of quality craftsmanship, technical expertise and features the Gunlocke Advantage – legendary support for dealers, architects, designers and their clients, all backed by the industry’s strongest warranty. The Gunlocke name stands for lasting design integrity, uncompromising manufacturing excellence, and enduring substance, communicating status in meaningful ways. Nine U.S. presidents and leading business decision makers have made the company’s products their choice.

Gunlocke invites its partners and customers to visit one or more of its showrooms, strategically located in Chicago, Dallas, New York City and Washington, D.C., as well as at its headquarters in Wayland, New York.