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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Amanda Chevalier

Owner & President

CFI Workspace

Location: Pennsauken Township, NJ

Founded: 1985

Industry: Contract Furniture Distributor

Amanda Chevalier started her career in customer service in the hotel industry in New York, but her father lured her back to Philadelphia after he bought a Knoll dealership. He offered Chevalier a job, which provided a more stable schedule and improved quality of life. And Chevalier found that the customer service skills she learned in the hotel industry fit in nicely with customer service needed in the furniture business. When the opportunity came up in 2004, Chevalier started a Knoll dealership in New Jersey with a previous business partner.

That business was the impetus for what would become CFI Workspace, a contract furniture distributor serving the tri-state area.

In the early years, Chevalier faced challenges as a minority and woman-owned business, as the significance of these classifications was not as widely recognized as it is today. However, she persevered, and within two years, CFI Workspace’s revenues soared from zero to $3 million. As the company continued to thrive, Chevalier applied for MBE (Minority Business Enterprise) and WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise) certifications, further solidifying CFI Workspace’s reputation as a diverse and inclusive business.

CFI Workspace has become a driving force in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives both within the organization and through its promotional efforts. As an Asian-owned business, CFI Workspace serves as an inspiration to other Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) businesses in the region, encouraging them to embrace inclusivity in their branding and maintain excellence in their products and services.

Chevalier said her biggest risk in business was choosing to stay with her career and not become a stay-at-home mother. “When my oldest son was born, I chose to continue with my career and not be a stay-at-home mom,” she said. “It was the hardest decision I’ve made and something I still think about. As a single mom, I believe that both of my sons will have more opportunities in life from the family culture they were raised in.”

Chevalier is committed to providing education beyond the job itself, such as financial literacy, to empower her associates. She led the company’s move to a new office space with abundant natural light, improved ventilation and open areas designed for collaboration.

CFI Workspace has completed major projects for renowned companies, agencies and higher education institutions in the Delaware Valley. The company’s commitment to DE&I has been recognized through awards such as the AACCGP Executive of the Year, Med Week Citation for Outstanding Business of the Year, Philadelphia Business Journal Minority Business Leader Award, NMSDC Supplier of the Year and WBENC Leadership Award. CFI Workspace has consistently ranked as one of the largest minority- and woman-owned businesses in the Philadelphia region.

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Did you know?

Amanda is a foodie. She really has a taste for fine dining and good services, and always introducing her friends to new local favorites and delicacies. She is also a connector. Whenever she sees an opportunity to help someone (especially a new migrant or a visitor from another country/ area) to become acquainted with local cultures and traditions through astounding local networks. She is a philanthropist and a great promoter of local (fashion) creators.


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