Blake is what makes this place we work at home. I always remember him saying we spend more time here, than we do with some of our friends and family – and that’s why this place is family. This is why I call Nordstrom, my home.

He was a true revolutionary, a future thinker, humble as can be, and a true legend.

I remember back to my early years, a young and fascinated kid who thought it was so cool to work in a place like Nordstrom, it was brand new in Denver, CO – never heard of it before, but the minute I walked into the store to interview I thought to myself, “oh my gosh, I want to work here!” I made boxes as a cashier in men’s furnishings over the holiday with pride, because I loved what I did. All because I wanted to be great at my job (who knew making boxes would make me feel great, but it was because I was helping the team, and in turn our customers). I wanted to be the best.

Every Blake encounter, visit, and store opening was, to be really frank, stressful to prepare for. All managers would spend quite some time preparing, quizzing each other, and freshening up on our business, and when the time came for Blake to come onto the floor, he’d of course say the most welcoming hello and shake my hand, and then whip right past me, and go straight to a salesperson – as he knew this person was the one who makes the day, not us managers. This resonated with me, as he was truly about the people who make it happen, every day. That’s what’s important…not your sales results for the month, quarter or year – it was who on the team was making an impact.
That’s exactly what Blake expected, from all of us – not to be stressed, but to BE the best…and, also why be stressed anyway (?), because we should have always been the best.

He taught me so much, and I am forever grateful and honored to have had the many opportunities to see him. Every visit left me, and our teams feeling inspired and refreshed, and that we were doing the right thing everyday. And today, as I write this, I feel he’s still teaching me.

I thank you Blake, for being a true role model – not for being a business leader, but for being a people leader.

Let’s all keep supporting each other, as Blake so much would expect this from all of us. Let’s be BEST, for Blake.

Thank you, Blake.

Eric Walkingstick