Norman Rosenblatt, the previous chairman of Therapedic International who recently died at the age of 86, played a large role in growing the company into the powerhouse it is today.
Rosenblatt graduated from Revere High School in Revere, Massachusetts, in 1947 where he was senior class president and football captain, an honor he held very high as the only Jewish player on the entire team. He also enjoyed working for his parents’ produce stand in Swampscott, where his entrepreneurial drive was born.
After graduating from high school he went on to Colby College on a full football scholarship, then completed his studies at Boston University where was awarded a bachelor’s degree in economics.
Using his experience and succession from his lifelong sales career for the likes of Lever Bros., Bristol Myers, Pezro Sales and Serta, in 1975 he created Restmore Sleep Products and Therapedic Mattress of NE began.
In 1985, he solely brought Therapedic to one of the nation’s top wholesale clubs — BJ’s — as a “founding” vendor.
“That kind of put him on the map as a major player because it was a big volume account,” says Therapedic International CEO Gerry Borreggine about the signing of BJ’s. “From there he opened up more large accounts, and he was a good operator who managed his costs well. He had a tight grip on that business. With a smile for everybody, he would walk through his factory and would be able to say hello to every factory person by name.”
Borreggine says Rosenblatt was a tough guy — he was a special ops veteran and a college football player and an amateur boxer before that. “But inside, he had a very soft, good heart,” he adds.
Borrggine and Rosenblatt were close friends and met over 20 years ago when Borreggine was hired by Therapedic after working with them as a subcontractor. But their relationship was not great to begin with.
“We weren’t on the same page at all,” Borreggine says. “He didn’t really want to hire me, and I think once they did hire me, he would have been really happy if I would have left. And truthfully, I would have left but it wasn’t God’s plan for me. So I ended up staying and Norman and I saw the value in each other for the betterment of the company. We made a truce at first, but then we became literally like a father and son.”
In the last 15 years, that friendship grew stronger. Borreggine says they trusted each other and were honest and open.
“He really was a great guy, and I miss him already,” Borreggine adds. “It’s just been a rough week not having him around.”
Rosenblatt was also a family man and a great provider to his wife, according to Borreggine. “Barbara was the love of his life. It really was a beautiful thing to see. He took care of his kids up to the very day he died — he took care of everybody.”
Rosenblatt is survived by his wife, three children and seven grandchildren.