Irv Blumkin

Irv Blumkin

NEBRASKA FURNITURE MART

At age 8, Irv began working in his family’s business in Omaha, Neb., guided by his grandmother, the legendary Mrs. B, and father, Louie, to learn all areas of the business.

Earning his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Arizona, Irv graduated with Honors in 1974. In 1975, Irv returned to Omaha and the family business and helped his family grow Nebraska Furniture Mart into one of America’s largest home furnishings businesses, selling furniture, flooring, electronics and appliances all under one roof.

Over the years, Irv, along with his brother Ron, strategically focused on growth, adding state of-the-art retail locations and distribution centers in Clive, Iowa; Kansas City, Kan.; and most recently, their newest and largest store in The Colony, Tex.

Irv earned an Executive MBA in 2008 from the Harvard Business School of Executive Education. He has received wide recognition for his contributions to his community and the home furnishings industry, some of which include the Anti-Defamation League’s American Heritage Award (2005) and the Humanitarian Award (2016), an American Marketing Lifetime Achievement Award (2007), City of Hope’s Spirit of Life Award (2009), induction into the Omaha Business Hall of Fame (2014), Furniture Today’s Retail Innovator Award (2014) and the Furniture Industry Leadership Award (2016), and IHFRA’s 2016 Retailer of the Year.

Irv is a Board Member for the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame and the NATM Buying Corporation, and is also Chairman of the Board of Star Furniture.

Irv has been married to his college sweetheart, Susie, for 40 years and they have three children and eight grandchildren. Beyond work, Irv lists travels and daily exercise as interests, but he especially enjoys sharing time with family and friends.

Leadership Session: Retail CEO Panel

Grand Ballroom

Leadership in a changing retail universe This peer-to-peer panel, led by Haverty’s CEO Clarence Smith, will discuss the most critical issues facing furniture retailers today—from merchandising to technology, and human resources to generational change.

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