On September 26, 2018, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, the founder and owner of Gallery Furniture in Houston, was awarded the McLane Leadership in Business Award by the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, & Public Policy. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in the area of business and public or community service.
Mr. McIngvale’s remarks, given to a crowd of about 475 at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center, were intriguing, humorous, and inspirational. He told stories about the experiences he and his Gallery Furniture stores had rescuing people during Hurricane Harvey, remarking that when people ask him how he could let complete strangers sleep in his furniture store, he answers “How could I not?” While his disaster work may be what comes to mind first, his philanthropic resume is even more extensive. His face beamed when he spoke of his next endeavor, turning portions of two of his stores into community centers to provide job training to local residents. Mr. McIngvale asserted that what he learned about service came from his role models – his family and George and Barbara Bush.
Prior to the event Mr. McIngvale met with a group of Bush School students for a Q&A session. Upon entering the room “Mattress Mack” shook all the students’ hands and learned their names. Just another example of the personable qualities of the man who owns and operates Gallery Furniture in Houston. To Mr. McIngvale, service to others isn’t a choice but a lifestyle – one he encouraged all in attendance on Wednesday to choose.
Dean Mark Welsh; Jim McIngvale; Dr. Lori Taylor
Jim McIngvale with students at the Bush School