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Showing posts from April, 2013

Gerry Birnbach Tribute

I recently attended the funeral for Gerald Birnbach. Up from humble beginnings as the son of a Boston funeral director, and suffering from a variety of serious childhood ailments, Gerry became the CEO of Rowe Furniture, and, as far as anyone could determine, was the longest-serving NYSE CEO.Employees at all levels called him “Mr. B.” and he treated them all with respect and a smile. Gerry was the consummate salesman.He had many standard lines and clever sayings that all his friends and acquaintances knew.One that I recall well, was “I know my customer”.And he did.He knew all about them, and how to help them and how to help make their businesses grow.

He was also a family man, leaving four children and a growing band of grandchildren behind.He hosted the entire bunch to Maryland University basketball games (in first row seats by the way).He loved his grandchildren and, as far as I can tell, they returned his love and then some. Gerry was my boss and a man far ahead of the times in his cho…