Gorman’s began in 1940 as a damaged railroad freight company. Founded by Ben Gorman, we would take damaged freight from railroads, typically canned goods, and resell it to the local community. It wasn’t long before we started seeing damaged furniture coming through our store. We would take the damaged pieces, fix them, and then resell them to the community.
Gorman’s quickly became known as the place to get furniture. Therefore, it was a natural step to become a furniture retailer. In 1965 Ben Gorman sold the store to Bernie Moray who continues with current partners Tom Lias, Jeff Roberts, and John Moray. Gorman’s commitment to customer service became the foundation for what we are today. From the first store in Southfield, we decided that every interaction with a customer must be a win-win situation for everyone involved.
It was shortly after that we began to expand, opening stores in multiple locations across Michigan. Today Gorman’s has retail showrooms located in Southfield, Troy, Novi, Shelby Township, Grand Rapids and a Clearance Center in Farmington Hills.
Bernard (Bernie) Moray – Chairman
Bernard (Bernie) D. Moray is chairman of Gorman’s, a four-store retail home furnishing operation based in Michigan.
A native Detroiter, Moray began his career with the furniture industry 70 years ago with Robinson’s Furniture. After spending 18 years with this company, Moray purchased Gorman’s Furniture in 1965.
Moray opened the now-landmark Gorman’s Contemporary Gallery in Southfield, Michigan the following year. He began expanding the company in 1975 with the opening of a 101-room store in Troy. In 1995, the company opened its third location in Novi and most recently Gorman’s Lakeside store in 2000.
During his 35-year tenure at Gorman’s, Moray has championed the company’s growth from $200,000 in revenues in 1966 to $25 million in 2007. An industry veteran, Moray was recognized in 1993 by the National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA) as Retailer of the Year. The award focused on his creative motivation and recognition programs for employees of Gorman’s.
Moray has been instrumental in orchestrating civic and philanthropic endeavors in his stores, generating over $1 million in financial support for charitable organizations such as Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Toys for Tots and the American Cancer Society. Crain’s Detroit Business honored Moray with its Executive 100 Award in 1995 for his fundraising efforts for HAVEN.
A leader in the home furnishings industry, Moray served as president in 1991 of the National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA) – an organization representing 13,000 stores nationwide. He became a member of NHFA’s past president’s council in 1993 and was also elected to the executive committee of the Interior Design Society – NHFA’s affiliate design group.
Moray and his wife Muriel are the parents of three children and reside in Franklin, Michigan.
Send Bernie An Email
Tom Lias – President & CEO
As President and CEO of Gorman’s, Tom Lias oversees and manages the six-store retail home furnishing chain’s day-to-day activities. He orchestrates merchandising, marketing and advertising strategies and is responsible for coordinating all purchasing decisions.
Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, Lias began his career with the furniture industry more than 45 years ago. His extensive retail background includes positions as an architectural artist, retail store designer, studio designer, retail trainer, general manager and vice president for a number of Michigan Ethan Allen locations. Throughout this career, Lias quickly moved up the ranks and became marketing manager for Ethan Allen stores in Michigan and Ohio.
Prior to joining Gorman’s in 1983, Lias was co-owner and president of eight La-Z-Boy stores located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.
A graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s School of Design, Lias resides in Troy, Michigan with his wife Chris and son David.
Send Tom An Email