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Richard Goldman visits IBS

Former Men’s Wearhouse executive Richard E. Goldman encourages Brandeis IBS students to “design their own luck”

May 4, 2009

Speaking to a capacity crowd in Lee Hall, Richard E. Goldman, retired Executive Vice President of Men’s Wearhouse, challenged students to take their futures into their own hands and begin by focusing inward. “Change comes from inside, by practicing presence, patience and developing integrity,” he said. Goldman is the author of “Luck by Design”. He shared his experiences over a 29 year career in retailing that began with a meeting with George Zimmer, founder of Men’s Wearhouse.

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Richard Goldman, retired Executive Vice President of Men's Wearhouse.

Born to a middle class family in the coal-mining town of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Goldman graduated from Rutgers University and moved to Houston, Texas. It was there that he met Zimmer, who only three weeks prior had opened the men’s clothing company.  He hired Goldman to work on the floor of the firm’s first store and from this modest beginning, they oversaw the creation of the largest chain of men's clothing stores in both the U.S. and Canada.  In 2002, when Goldman retired, annual sales at Men’s Wearhouse exceeded $1.2 billion.

Goldman’s assessment of the current state of affairs that students face was sobering. He noted that his generation “left you with a world far less safe than the world we inherited,” and then posed the question: “What are you going to do about it?” His answer: students should adopt an approach that centers on personal integrity or “how one does things when no one is around”. An advocate of practicing meditation, Goldman believes that individuals can “create their own luck” as ultimately “you have control over your own life,” he said.

Goldman is widely recognized as the marketing mastermind of Men’s Wearhouse. He is credited with a key decision to use television as the main form of advertising as far back as 1975, and for his careful nurturing and managing of the company’s brand and image, as it expanded into the top 125 markets in the United States. 

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Goldman was one of 70 business leaders who visited Brandeis IBS as part of the School’s Practitioners Engagement Program which provides strong connections for students to the world of practice.  These executives represent a wide variety of industries including financial services, retail, energy, technology, life sciences and other emerging fields.          
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