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Industry Veteran Bernie Rosenblum Celebrates 75th Birthday

Celebrating your Diamond Jubilee for most people means a quiet gathering of the family and a few close friends.

That’s not for Bernie Rosenblum. He’s looking forward to celebrating his 75th birthday in August, but it will be far from a quiet little gathering. More than likely the vice-president of sales for A-Z Industries Inc., the Northbrook based wire and cable national distribution company, will be out on the road making sales calls somewhere in his six-state territory.

“He is the No. 1 person in our geriatric division,” says Jim Anixter, president of A-Z Industries. “But he’s not the oldest,” adds Anixter. “We have put together the perfect blend of staff. They range in age from 90 (our chairman of the Board) to 22 (our inside sales team) and almost everything in between.”
“But Bernie is something special. He loves his work. He’s a great people person, and he is respected nationwide in the electrical distribution business.” In fact, says Anixter, he will be honored as an inductee in the Electric Association’s Hall of Fame on Thursday, October 3 at the Carlisle Banquet Hall in Lombard, IL.

Rosenblum started working at the age of 16 part-time as a warehouse assistant for his father’s manufacturers’ rep firm, Murray Rosenblum & Company. At first, young Bernie worked the inside sales side of the business, but eventually moved to outside sales to help the company expand its territory.
“I called on electrical distributors throughout Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, establishing long-term relationships and expanding the lines we represented,” he recalls.

Over the years, Rosenblum’s responsibilities grew, and he was promoted to sales manager, vice president and eventually president.

“But,” says Rosenblum, “the pressures of administering the company became less attractive and I decided to return to what I loved most: sales.” He joined Dearborn Wire and Cable in 1998 until they were sold to Belden in 2005.

In 2005 he accepted the offer of Jim Anixter to join family-owned A-Z Industries as the company’s national sales manager.

“My first responsibility with A-Z was to further develop the company’s visibility with electrical distributors and other key people throughout the industry,” Rosenblum explained. His efforts earned him a promotion to vice president of sales, and today at 75, the man officially known as the “consummate professional” by his peers and friends in the industry, still makes end-user calls and keeps expanding his relationships with distributor salespeople, contractors and industrial and OEM accounts. Rosenblum attributes his work-life longevity to his love of selling. “It’s in my blood,” he says.

At 75 years young, Bernie says he is having more fun selling wire and cable for A-Z Industries than he has ever had. “The past 54 years in sales have really been exciting and rewarding especially in establishing friendships and contacts that have endured over the years,” he said. “I enjoy going to work every day because A-Z is growing nationally and is becoming a major factor as a stocking distributor of electrical wire and cable throughout the United States,” he concluded.

Rosenblum has been active throughout his career in the Electric Association of Chicago, Electric Golf Club, Little Wheels Club (of which he was the HUB), National Electrical Manufacturer’s Representative Association, to name a few. In addition, Bernie is still running and participating in 5Ks, 10Ks and has done 20Ks, half and full marathons starting at age 38. At 75 he says, “Who knows? I still may have some halfs and full marathons in me.”

He served in the 324th Army Security Agency as a Reservist from 1959 to 1964, during which time he was recalled to active duty for the Berlin Crisis for 10 additional months.

Bernie has been married to Merle for over 50 years and has a son, Howard and his wife Sarah, and daughter Stephanie and her husband Michael Lubelfeld and four grandchildren, Leah and Jeremy Rosenblum and Maya and Justin Lubelfeld. The Rosenblums live in Northbrook, Ill.

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