Mark Gushner, 80 Retired Clothing Business Owner, JEVS President

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Mark Gushner's impact at JEVS Human Services, which he served with distinction as a former president, was long lasting.

Mark Gushner, a scion of the family that owned and operated Boyd’s Philadelphia who eventually took over the iconic clothing store and left an indelible and well-respected legacy, died Jan. 29.
 
The former Gladwyne resident, who retired 11 years ago to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., was 80.
 
The Wharton graduate applied his fiscal knowledge early on in his career, using it as a buyer at Boyd’s just after graduation.
 
But even then, he was no stranger to the store, having  worked there in high school and, of course, hearing about the family business from his dad, Alexander, and his uncles, Albert and Benjamin, who ran the store for years.
 
“He worked long, hard hours but he loved it,” says his son, Jimmy. “He had an incredible responsible work ethic and loved people, giving many employees their start at the store. He also believed in second chances.”
 
Gushner had a great sense of humanity, adds his wife of 56 years, Marilyn, to go along “with a great sense of humor. He was also very astute at recognizing people’s qualities and he was always respectful of others.”
 
Adds his son with pride, “He would ask me, whenever I came to him with a business decision I had to make, ‘What are the people like? If you deal with honorable people, you will be alright.’ ”
 
His sense of honor extended beyond the store. Gushner, a former member of the board of trustees of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, spent a lot of time focused on JEVS Human Services, which he served with distinction as a former president.
 
 “He loved the contributions JEVS” made to the community, says his son, which included a testing program that could determine vocational skills and capabilities of high schoolers, a program, he adds, which was adopted by numerous social service agencies around the country.
 
Gushner’s impact at JEVS was long lasting. “He demonstrated his strong commitment to the workplace success of many by his dedication to his employees and through the vocational scholarship fund that was near and dear to him at JEVS,” notes Jay Spector, president and CEO of JEVS Human Services. 
 
Gushner’s commitment was an enduring one, beginning in 1982, when he joined its board; three years later, Gushner became chair of the agency’s Vocational Research Institute.
 
In 1986, Gushner began a three-year stint as president of the organization’s board.
 
“He will be remembered as a successful businessman,” says his son, “who was a kind-hearted person who treated everyone with a smile.”
 
In addition to his wife and son, Gushner is survived by a daughter, Julie Schroeder; and four grandchildren.
 
Contributions can be sent to the MPN Research Foundation, which focuses on blood cancers, at: www.mpnresearchfoundation.org

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