Omaha Business Hall of Fame: Louis Blumkin

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Posted: Sunday, April 6, 2014 12:00 am

The son of Rose “Mrs. B” Blumkin and Isadore Blumkin, Louis Blumkin joined Nebraska Furniture Mart in 1946.

Aside from serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, he spent his entire professional career at Nebraska Furniture Mart.

When Louis, who learned the business from his mother, said he had the best possible teacher, Mrs. B would respond that she had the best possible student.

Louis served as president of Nebraska Furniture Mart for 40 years, then became chairman emeritus, continuing to advise his sons.

In 2000, Louis was inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame. He died in 2013.

Louis and Mrs. B (who was inducted in 1994) are the only mother and son to achieve that honor.

Mrs. B was inducted into the inaugural Omaha Business Hall of Fame in 1993. She died in 1998.

Irvin Blumkin

A son of Louis and Frances Blumkin, Irvin Blumkin began working at Nebraska Furniture Mart at age 9 and has worked in most areas of the company. He was appointed CEO in 1991.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business at the University of Arizona and worked at a Tucson bank, but came home to help rebuild after the Omaha store was damaged by the 1975 tornado.

As CEO, he oversees merchandising, marketing and the strategic direction of the company. His son, Ryan, and daughter Becca Sudbeck are fourth-generation employees.

Irvin and his wife, Susie, also have a daughter Jessica and five grandchildren.

Ronald Blumkin

A son of Louis and Frances Blumkin, Ronald Blumkin is part of the third generation of family leadership at Nebraska Furniture Mart.

Ronald, a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, joined the company full time after serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1970 to 1972. He had previously worked part time at the store, starting at age 12.

As president and chief operating officer since 1988, he oversees the operation of the company. His son, Matt, became a fourth-generation employee at age 16.

Ronald and his wife, Chris, have one grandchild.

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