Obituary: Charlie Bowlus

CLEVELAND A celebration of life service has been scheduled at Cleveland Browns Stadium here Monday, Aug. 22, for Charlie Bowlus, founder and chief executive officer of Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing, or ECRM, who died Aug. 11. The cause was complications from emergency surgery. Bowlus began his retail career during college at Ohio State University, when he worked for a small drug chain.

CLEVELAND — A “celebration of life” service has been scheduled at Cleveland Browns Stadium here Monday, Aug. 22, for Charlie Bowlus, founder and chief executive officer of Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing, or ECRM, who died Aug. 11. The cause was complications from emergency surgery. Bowlus began his retail career during college at Ohio State University, when he worked for a small drug chain. He went on to become a buyer and wholesaler for various companies, including Target, Cook-United and Boston Distributors Inc. In 1994, he developed a new breed of retail conferences by leveraging technology and a “speed-dating” approach to supplier meetings with retail buyers. Since then, the company has held more than 800 category-specific meetings on four different continents. “My father would not want us to mourn his death,” said ECRM President Mitchell Bowlus in an Aug. 11 letter to ECRM employees. “Rather, he would want us to celebrate his tremendous life and further his passion and vision for improving the way companies do business.”