Robert Hurwitz grew up in Brooklyn, NY and graduated from the Bernard Baruch School at CCNY in 1965 with a BA Degree in International Trade. In 1969, Mr. Hurwitz moved to Cleveland, and started Incentive Consultants, Inc., a sales incentive company, the first of many Cleveland-based companies he would develop or co-found over the years. Incentive Consultants was purchased by a subsidiary of Cook United, Inc., a publicly held retailer and distribution company. Bob went on to become President and CEO of their hard-goods division. In 1979, Bob and two partners started Professional Housewares Distributors, Inc., which became one of the nation’s largest housewares and small appliance distributors.
In 1987, Mr. Hurwitz co-founded OfficeMax, Inc., where he was founding Chairman and CEO, taking a leadership role in building it into a national chain of office supply superstores, which was subsequently sold to K-mart. Mr. Hurwitz is also a founding owner of The Coral Company, which over the last 24 years has grown into a full service real estate development, construction and management firm, having developed shopping centers, hospital affiliated primary care facilities, office buildings and residential communities. In 1996, Mr. Hurwitz founded Homeplace, Inc. which ultimately grew into a national chain of 100 home furnishings superstores before going into reorganization and eventually being sold.
Since 2001 Mr. Hurwitz has engaged in assisting other entrepreneurs in developing their ideas and businesses, including Cardinal Commerce, Inc., a leading online authentication service. He is an active member on the Jumpstart Board and is involved on the organization’s strategic planning, compensation, human resources and finance committees. He is also active in Jumpstart’s mentoring program, which is modeled after the very successful program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There are presently 80 active mentors in the Jumpstart program working with close to 100 businesses. Mr. Hurwitz especially enjoys working with start-ups and early stage companies with emphasis on inclusion.
Mr. Hurwitz currently serves on the Leadership Council of the Seidman Cancer Center of University Hospitals and the Leadership Council of the Global Neurological Institute of The Cleveland Clinic. He has a very strong interest in health, wellness, nutrition and exercise and also plays an active role in the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, including helping fund some of the research in this area.
Mr. Hurwitz is past Chairman of the Board of the Center of Partnership Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital of Chicago, which has since been sold. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Community Federation of Ohio and Founding Chairperson of Growing and Strengthening Cleveland. He has been a 25-year member of the Visiting Committee of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.
As a principal and executive with The Coral Company, Mr. Hurwitz is actively involved in one of northeast Ohio’s most innovative real estate development endeavors. Linked by groundbreaking 100 gigabit internet access, Intesa is a sustainably designed, $100 million mixed use project to be located in University Circle in Cleveland. This project will physically and functionally connect technology, restaurants, retailing, apartments and an office tower, all supported by over 900 structured parking spaces. Groundbreaking for Intesa is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2013.
Mr. Hurwitz and his wife, Susan, live in Pepper Pike and have two married children and seven grandchildren, all living in the Cleveland area.