Bob Gormley, a valued member of our COFCO team, passed away on September 19, 2015.
Bob was with COFCO from 1978 up until he retired in 2008 and was our top sales performer for many of those years. Besides his solid contributions to our sales effort, Bob brought new vision to our company from the moment he started.
Bob Gormley came to our company with experience in the contract furniture world and taught us how to market and serve larger clients and also the architectural and design (A & D) community—something that was mostly foreign to me, my Dad (our founder David Einstein), and the rest of our company.
What was it about COFCO (then Commercial Office Furniture Co.), that appealed to Bob at that time? We were relatively small and simply a “desk, chair, and file cabinet supplier”. Despite our limited range, Bob said he was looking for a financially-solid and well-run company to become a part of and where he could service his customers well. Bob thought he could bring his experience and contacts, carve out his niche, and expand COFCO’s horizons.
We are thankful that Bob DID make that decision to join us back in 1978. He helped COFCO get to so many new levels and much of our success as a major contract furniture dealer is a result of Bob’s initiatives. He was the first to refer to customers as “clients”—something we all do now.
He taught us the importance of cultivating and servicing A & D contacts and attending NEOCON, the annual contract furniture show in Chicago. Bob taught us how to present and sell major systems furniture projects and lead the way with most of our major installations.
He believed in our major product line, Allsteel, which COFCO had been a dealer since 1953, and he helped us to increase our volume with them so that we could become the major Allsteel dealer that we are today.
His collaboration with our CEO, Joan Waters, produced great results, starting in the 90’s, and their collective contributions resulted in accelerated growth and many great successes for COFCO.
Today we remember Bob Gormley—a dear colleague and friend–who made a tremendous impact for 30 years of our 69-year history. Our condolences to his wonderful wife Carole and two children, Bobby and Michele. All of them were part of our COFCO family and they all are in our thoughts at this time.