Inside This Issue - News
ECRM founder, CEO Bowlus dies
August 22nd, 2011
SOLON, Ohio – Charlie Bowlus, founder and chief executive officer of ECRM, has died unexpectedly. He was 64.
According to his son Mitch Bowlus, ECRM president, Bowlus recently underwent emergency surgery to correct an acute intestinal blockage and, in subsequent weeks, experienced complications. Besides Mitch Bowlus, he is survived by his wife and three other children.
Charlie Bowlus founded ECRM in 1994 with the objective of improving the way in which category management operates by uniting the right people and providing them with the tools needed to make the most of ECRM’s business meetings. That strategy has had a lasting impact on the way retailers and suppliers conduct business today.
He is credited with leading the development of new events and innovative technological tools at ECRM, including its MarketGate Software. "We have a unique model in that retailers and suppliers who come to our shows are really the initiators of the new software products," Bowlus once said. "At every event we have people who use the software and have ideas about how to make it better."
The software was originally developed to help make ECRM’s Efficient Program Planning Sessions (EPPS) more productive. More recently Bowlus and ECRM were quick to appreciate the significance of social networking. ECRM has been developing community pages for such categories as beauty care, health care and pharmacy.
Bowlus’ retail career was launched at a Revco D.S. Inc. warehouse, where he assumed positions of increasing responsibility. He also was employed by such companies as Gray Drug Fair Inc., Target Corp., Cook-United Inc. and Boston Distributors Inc.