From its inception, Bretford has led an animated existence. Founded in 1948 by brothers Russ and Edward Petrick as a tool and die metal stamping company with two employees, Bretford found itself manufacturing a strange menagerie of items: hairdryers, barbeque smokers, and sunlamps. In the 60's, however, the company refocused and quickly rose to answer the demands of a developing audiovisual (AV) industry. Brothers Ed and Dave Petrick (sons of Russ) entered the business in the late 60's, and by the late 70's, Bretford was the primary provider of AV equipment to schools and institutions. The 70's also called for copier stands, while the 80's saw the increased sale of television-related products and the introduction of projection screens. After purchasing a wood manufacturing facility in the mid-80's, Bretford began making wood and laminate components for its metal furniture.
With the necessary resources now at hand, Bretford started marketing conference room furniture--low-end and two color, but a comprehensive line. About this time, a dealer mentioned to Chris Petrick (Dave's son) and Chris' then-mentor, Burke Quinn, national contract sales manager, that Bretford had nearly filled a gaping hole in the conference and training furniture market--the lack of a one-stop-shopping option. If only they could take the line to a higher quality level, they'd have it made.
So, they did. With input from end users and the guidance of designers during an 18-month period, Bretford conceived, designed, engineered, and brought to market the Presentation Environments line at NeoCon 1995. The series is handsome--a departure from Bretford's history of a more functional aesthetic--and complete, including everything from tables, to AV support furniture, TV mounts, presentation boards and lecterns. Bretford now offered a total solution. Since its introduction, components of the line--the TransTable, Media Cart, Hospitality Cart, Powered Conference Table and Recessed Monitor Table--have been chosen five years in a row for Best of NeoCon awards.
Bretford prides itself on being a quality manufacturer in many facets including the contract furniture market, office furniture market, audio visual market and educational market.
Excerpt taken from March 1998 Facilities Design & Management.