THE HISTORY OF TRANSITIONS GROUP, INC.
Our Company founder and President, Bill Jackson, is a life-long resident of Wichita, Kansas, a United States Air Force Veteran and an alumnus of Wichita State University. The business started in 1985 with the founding of Furniture Options, a furniture rental company with a showroom in Wichita. Over the years, Bill and his team created new businesses, entered new ventures and opened offices in 12 Midwestern cities, and we're still growing!
In 2014, Bill announced he was forming an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Program), and shortly after entered semi-retirement, confident in the future of the company.
In 1985 Bill Jackson signed an agreement to purchase a small furniture rental company named Marketplace Furniture founded in Wichita, KS. He eventually bought out his partner and renamed it FURNITURE OPTIONS.
LINENS AND MORE
Furniture Options increased the type of rental offerings by adding housewares and linens to their product mix.
SUITE OPTIONS Corporate Housing
The company entered the Corporate and Temporary Housing market with they formed a new company called Suite Options serving the Wichita area.
Our first big expansion outside the Wichita market occured in 1992 when Suite Options opened a location in Kansas City. That same year the Wichita office moved to our current location at 1336 E. Douglas.
APARTMENT OPTIONS. MORE NEW MARKETS
A new company, Apartment Options, opened in 1993 and specialized in apartment relocation. Suite Options expanded further, opening in multiple new markets from 1993 – 1995 including: Des Moines, Tulsa, and as a franchise in Jacksonville.
Purchased Thompson Crawley
In 1996, Bill purchased Thompson Crawley a furniture rental competitor in Wichita. Many of the talented staff from Thompson Crawley came over as well and are still here today! 1996 also marked our first Leadership Planning Retreats.
Transitions Group Formed
The company was growing rapidly and the need for a parent umbrella company for all the DBA's was formed and called Transitions Group - affectionately referred to as TG.
Furniture Options Expands. New Acquisitions
The growth of Suite Options created a need for rental furniture in the new markets. In 1998, Furniture Options expanded to meet this need in both Kansas City and Des Moines. TG also acquired Corporate Lodging & Apartment Locators in Little Rock.
1999 was a busy year. Furniture Options move into Oklahoma City and the Quad Cities. Tulsa operations were moved to OKC. TG acquired Bridgestreet Oklahoma City Corporate Housing, and New 2 You, a furniture clearance center was opened in Wichita.
Open. Close. Sell.
A whirlwind of activities occured in the first few years of the new century. Suite Options opened in Jacksonville. In 2000, Furniture Options opened in Peoria and Jacksonville, and Apartment Options was closed. Then in 2002, Furniture Options sold the operatinos in Quad Cities and Peoria. In 2003 Suite Options closed in Tulsa, moving all Oklahoma operations to Okalahoma City.
ExecuStay and ABODE
TG had a very big year in 2004. Suite Options became an ExecuStay Marriott franchisee; changing the public persona to ExecuStay Midwest. This year also brought the acquisition of Executive Amenities in Dallas, and Furniture Options opened in Dallas. On the home front (Wichita), ABODE Home, a contemporary furniture retail store was built from the ground up in the former parking lot of Furniture Options.
ExecuStay Midwest Expands, ACI Founded
Suite Options (now ExecuStay Midwest) opened in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. ABODE Commercial Interiors began in 2008 providing unique office interiors in Wichita.
Wichita was not quite ready for the contemporary styles of ABODE Home, but they loved the parties and concerts we threw. So in 2010, ABODE Home was tranformed into an event and wedding venue called ABODE Venue.
More Openings and a Closing
ExecuStay Midwest and Furniture Options opened locations in Omaha. Furniture Options expanded into New Orleans and Ft. Worth. Suite Options opened in Houston and Austin. In 2013, ACI Design Studio closed, allowing more time to be spend on Furniture Options which was growing rapidly.
Marriott International sold their ExecuStay division to the largest Corporate and Temporary Housing provider in the world: Oakwood Worldwide. In 2014, ExecuStay Midwest became a franchisee of Oakwood Worldwide and acquired the rights to the Oakwood franchise in our northern region.
On July 31, 2014, Transitions Group officially became an Employee Owned Company, as an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). The employees "own it" and have a vested interest in the success of the company and the servcie to our clients.
New CEO and President
Founder and President Bill Jackson, moved into semi-retirement in 2015 and became CEO of Transitions Group. Barney Lehnherr became president of TG, and Brent Dorrah moved into Barney's former postion as VP of the Furniture Division.
Today, Transitions Group Inc., currently 4 businesses operating 22 profit centers in 12 cities and 8 states.