Edward Smith

Work History

Work History
Oct 2004 - Present

Managing Member

FDF Consulting
Contract Industry consultant specializing in the application, sale and marketing of European furniture in the US market. Multiple consultancies for high and low profile companies in Italy, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, wishing to research opportunities in the US market then developing strategies, infrastructure, and brand awareness through engagement of the industry media, architectural and design community, and US distribution giants.
Jan 2008 - Sep 2008


Lane Office Furniture
Joined the sales and marketing team at Lane Office with the intention of learning about modular wall products manufacured by Mogens Smed's environmental company DIRTT. The downturn in the economy forced layoffs which brought an end to my participation in this exciting new field in contract furnishings. No single manufacured item has the ability to better champion the cause of a healthier environment than modular walls. The amount of construction material deposited anually in land fill is huge and this product alone redresses the problem. It also affords great advances in the distribution of light through office space, something which directly affects the health and happiness of the modern office environment.
Nov 2001 - Jan 2005

Regional Vice President

Ahrend USA Inc.
Regional Vice President, Ahrend USA/ President Fine Dutch Furniture LLC. Established US presence for 700 million dollar European Contract Furniture Manufacturer: built infrastructure from ground up; set up warehouse; opened an elite dealer network throughout the US; directed public relations activities; gained support and editorial coverage of top contract media magazines; directed advertising campaign through direct marketing and direct mail, full position ads and exposure to “Ahrend Style”; created multimedia presentations later standardized company-wide; conducted market research in Amsterdam, New York, Boston, and Chicago through elite focus groups; developed parity products; formed partnership with AMP Technologies for energy requirements; formed partnership with FTL Design and Engineering for shared showroom space and the design of new systems; built showroom at no cost through trade relationships; implemented initiative with IIDA for worldwide networking; hired qualified staff; instigated the re-design of product lines for US application now in production; encouraged the design development of new products for US market; established brand nationally attracting US partnerships. Clients developed include: Investec Ernst and Co.; Capital Markets; Smart Car USA Corporate HQ; Exxon Mobil; Benetton USA Corporate HQ; Vassar College; US Airforce
Jan 1999 - Sep 2001

Managing Director

Dancker, Sellew & Douglas
Managing Director. Responsible for new business development and architectural liaison; engaged as part of Steelcase’s initiative to embrace the A&D community; lecturer on the modern office, Workplace Performance, and Pathways; charged with creating a division to represent European workplace theory and manufacturers including Ahrend, Vitra, Werndl, Bulo, and Wilkhahn. Clients developed include: Investec, Ernst and Co.; Generale Bank; Fortis Financial; Cambridge Pharmaceuticals; Capital Markets; Boo.com; D.E. Shaw; Skirball Foundation; Aids Foundation; Danskin; Joe Boxer; Ralph Lauren; US Army.
Jan 1989 - Jan 1999

Vice President Sales

Tobron Office Furniture
Vice President, Sales. Sales representative for Herman Miller, Knoll, Teknion, Kimball, Vitra, and many others; top sales rep in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, and 1998; specialized in fashion and media clientele; managed workforce of up to 20 specialists and subcontractors Clients developed include: Donna Karan; DKNY; Calvin Klein; Carmelo Pomodoro; Harley Davidson; Steven Spielberg; D.E. Shaw; Generale Bank; Revlon; Chanel; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Tiffany.
Jan 1988 - Jan 1989


WB Wood NY
Sales representative for Herman Miller. Landed the Donna Karan account which for the next ten years ballooned into 29 floors and twelve million dollars of sales.
Mar 1987 - Jan 1988

Market Manager

Designer, corporate space planner, lecturer and presenter on the theory and application of Landscape Partitioning.


1979 - 1982

Art History and Archaeology

Columbia University in the City of New York
At Columbia I attended post graduate study in first century Roman architecture, although I was forced to leave the program to accept a position with Westinghouse Corporation. This was an unfortunate decision forced upon me by the death of my father and my need to earn to support myself and my mother, then living in Rome, Italy. While at Columbia I had the good fortune to attend lectures by Ed Bears on the American Civil War, Arthur Schlesinger on the Kennedy presidency, and many other visiting lecturers on contemporary topics.
1976 - 1978


University of California, Berkeley
UC Berkeley was, without doubt, my happy time in education. The facilities were spactacular, and the attention I received from the educators was without equal. I took classes from some of the best professors on the west coast. This icluded classical and late Roman art and architecture with Andrew Stewart, Darryl Amyx, and David Wright; Italian renaissance art with Leopold Ettlinger and Svetlana Alpers; and Romanesque architecture with Jean Bony. These outstanding teachers elevated my thought processes and expanded my already developed understanding of topics which thrilled me then and have continued ever since. Professor Stewart later took the time to research and evaluate some of the incredible finds and aquisitions in my father's extensive collection, while working as a purchasing agent on behalf of the Metropolitan, Boston, Fogg, Philadelphia, and Getty Art Museums.
1976 - 1977

Fine Arts

Following in my father's footsteps, and having spent every summer in the Mediterranean accompanying him as an amateur archaeologist, it was decided that I should study how art was actually made in order to be more proficient in its identification, evaluation, and restoration. I therfore studied a variety of subjects at CCAC from painting to pottery, to the lost wax process in the pouring of bronze for statuary. I also took courses of interest to me such as film and film history, photography, logical form, design, and caligraphy. It was, however, in art history that I excelled, and which led me to the University of California at Berkeley to continue my preparation for a curatorial career in Museum Management.



Conversational Italian

Sales, marketing, global business strategies, team building, creation of network, lecturing and education, motivational speaking, ergonomics, proponent of European open space theory of employee rights to light, air, space, personal health, and improved workplace performance.   I can speak Itaian sufficiently well to hold a conversation with nearly anyone.  My language skills for business are more limited, but still sufficiently good to communicate.


Museums; Classical Art; Roman Art and Architecture; Renaissance Art and Architecture; Nineteenth Century Painting and Sculpture; History, especially Ancient, Roman, and US Revolutionary and Civil War; World War II; Military History; Military Engineering; Naval Engineering; Startegic simulations; Photography; Film and Film History; BBC Costume Dramas; Golden Age of Film; Music of the 60's and 70's; Jazz; Classical Music and Opera; Theater and Broadway; Musicals; Italian Cooking and Fine Dining; World Travel; Scuba Diving; Interior Design; Numismatics; Art and Antique Collecting; Autograph and Manuscript Collecting; Modeling; Computers and Technology; Lake Fishing; Gardening; Automobiles and Driving; Teaching; Public Speaking; Dogs; Family.


I have over twenty years of experience in the contract furniture industry, having worked for both distribution and manufacturing. My most recent activities have been with European companies wishing to enter the US market. I am a champion of European open space office theory, planning, and product application, and have the experience of building a business from the ground up. I am a motivaitonal speaker in sales and marketing, and promote environmental issues, ergonomics, and rights to light, air, space, mobility, flexibility and collaborative work styles to enhance workplace performance and productivity in multinational worldwide business environments. I am of Italian origin, having lived in Europe for a good part of my life and see my education, work experience, cultural heritage and diverse background as a significant part of my core competency. I have enjoyed a highly successful sales career, worked as part of a team and also as an entrepreneur. I am married to an Oxford educated medical doctor and take great pride in my two daughters, aged 18 and 14. The highlight of my career has been in building a business and creating brand. It has been my pleasure to build an international network of highly successful leaders in my industry and to bring that network to bear in all I do. I am passionate about my work and enjoy influencing those around me to join in that passion.


My objective is to direct European product manufacturing companies with US market aspirations in their bid to establish themselves in this region.  I would also strongly desire the opportunity to re-direct a US manufacturer with the objective to modernize and embrace European style, open office theory and manufacturing utilizing the latest in minimalist design, manufacturing technique, and environmentally sound materials.

Furthermore, I would like to work with a company that prides itself in what they manufacture, embraces environmental stewardship, and directs product use for the improvement of our business culture and human condition.  The modern office is where we live and often where we spend most of our time.  It is incumbent upon us to improve our workplace and see to it that we are not only more productive, but also happier, healthier, and better citizens of this country and the world at large.