President, Transitions Group
Barney Lehnherr, president, Transitions Group
Lehnherr sees his job as “carrying on the culture” that his predecessor instilled in the Transitions Group.
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He shouldn’t have much trouble, having worked with and for company founder Bill Jackson for 30-some years.
Lehnherr, 58, grew up in Emporia and started work as a 15-year-old selling Christmas trees for the David’s department store chain location there. He got to know Jackson, who was working for David’s in Wichita.
Lehnherr attended Emporia State University on a scholarship provided by David’s, then transferred to Wichita in his early 20s.
He left to work for Rusty’s Outdoor Sports for about 15 years, then took a job with Jackson’s Transitions Group 20 years ago.
“I’ve basically had three jobs since I was 15 years old,” Lehnherr said.
Transitions provides corporate and temporary housing, furniture leasing, venue facilities and other services through various subsidiaries, including ExecuStay Midwest, Furniture Options and Abode Venue. About 30 people work at its headquarters in Wichita, with another 100 scattered through a dozen locations in the Midwest.
Jackson, the former president, is becoming chairman of the board of directors.
“We’ve got a real talented staff that’s tenured,” Lehnherr said.
Lehnherr and his wife, Sue, have been married 35 years and have a daughter, Cassie. He enjoys bass fishing and has a trip planned to Texas this summer to do just that.
He also loves his job, and not just because he looks forward to going to work every day.
“When I got into the furniture business, I had a little more time to fish and hunt.”