In the 12 years I worked for Nordstrom, I spent 10 in the same building as Blake. We saw a lot of the Nordstrom family; they were kinda hard to miss! 😉 but in my last role with the company, I got to work with Blake closely several times, usually on challenging situations, that probably neither of us wanted to deal with… but he always made time. Whether it was an email back at 5am or just taking the back stairs down to my office, he was available and cared so deeply for our employees. I always learned something – often several somethings – from our interactions because he was always willing to teach me (even if It was my mistakes that led us to that particular teaching moment 🤦🏻‍♀️).
I will never forget a 1:1 meeting I had with him, where he spent 30 minutes asking about me, my family, and my goals, providing advice and encouragement. I took notes as fast as I could! he would have done that for any employee who asked.
My other favorite Blake memory is when he paid a surprise visit to my office and the door was closed. After all this time with the company, I lived and breathed the open door policy, and the actual door was rarely shut. My team messaged me that he was here, as I was pumping. I frantically threw the pump and milk in a drawer and busted open the door. He asked me what I was doing. “Were you sending an email? Were you on the phone?” he asked, curious as always. Not wanting to lie, I blurted out, “No, I was pumping.” “Oh jeez wow ok!” he exclaimed and we quickly moved on. 😂
Even though I left Nordstrom for full-time mom life (I was so nervous to tell him – and he was so supportive), the values Blake and the company taught me are so embedded in me and now my own family. It was my first “real” job that turned into much more, and I stayed so long because of the people and the morals and culture behind them. He was the epitome of all of that, and I’m so thankful I knew him. Im praying for his family and our extended “Nordys” family, past and present, as we all know what a privilege it is to be a part of this special club.

Erin Marshall