Photography by Spacecrafting

Hero Office Systems

George Zenanko started his business in December of 1995 with $10,000 and a truckload of stylish, high-performance Herman Miller Ethospace office furniture. “I put an ad in the paper,” he recalls of those early days. “One gal bought a reception desk, and a hospital bought the rest of our inventory. And I realized I was in the furniture business.”

His wife, Jean Simon, left her job as a commodity broker and joined the team. Together, they became Hero Office Systems, designing, installing and servicing workspace layouts for years.

Now, Justin Zenanko, their second generation wunderkind, is ready to take the helm. Coming from the biotech and accounting spaces, he is equipped with the skills and the know-how to grow the company without compromising its Midwestern roots.

“I’m incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to build upon what my parents created,” Justin says. “And as we grow, I’ll be ensuring we don’t compromise our values or our culture — which have made the company successful — and instead put us in a position to really offer what my parents have brought to the community on a much larger scale.”

Jean adds, “I’m extremely proud that Justin decided to come back and help with the business, because he has the expertise and connections, and knows instinctively the right things to do.” To him, those “right things” are very straightforward: specifically, being the guide who helps clients find the right solutions for their needs.

“At the end of the day, you work with us because we celebrate and believe in our Minnesotan values and roots,” Justin concludes. “We’re a family-run operation, and we make sure the job gets done right. I’m not going to sell you something that I wouldn’t sell to myself.”

Read this article as it appears in the magazine.