I joined Nordstrom as a salesperson in the opening team of store 831 in Ottawa, Canada. I’m an Iranian who had just immigrated from Kuwait to Canada a few months before store opening and this was my first job in Canada. I had no intention of this being more than a survival job as I had never worked in retail or sales before, and did not think I’d like it! On day one of training, I watched a video about Nordstrom’s charitable activities and had a lump in my throat. I realized then that I may have stumbled across a company with great values!

The Nordstrom brothers were in our store during those early weeks and although I never interacted with any, I did find them very warm and humble!

It’s been 4 years & 6 titles since then. I’m now a Canadian citizen, settled in my new life, and can’t imagine myself working anywhere else! I’m proud to work for a company that has values that match my personal values. You often have to become a more selfish person in your career but I really don’t have to here! These values were maintained by generations of Nordstroms and always exemplified in their youngest members.

I always loved it when we had a video at a meeting in which Blake addressed us. His face, his constant smile even as he spoke, his warm tone and the simple language that he used made him so easy to listen to and admire as a leader. Like many others at Nordstrom, I don’t have a personal story to tell. I don’t have a picture to share. I don’t recall any words he may have said to me personally. But I felt his kindness and positive energy, even through videos. I felt his presence in my life as a Nordy! And I’m heartbroken by the suddenness of his departure.

As my sister mentioned when I shared the bad news with her, showed her his picture and read her his beautiful email of December 10th: “perhaps God loved him so much, that He spared him the pain of possibly decades of battling cancer”.

May his soul rest in peace, and may his family find strength and comfort in knowing that he is fondly remembered by his diverse Nordy family.