The late Albert David Maslia will be named the GHTA/Gift for Life Honor of Excellence recipient at the fifth annual ICON Honors celebration on Thursday, July 10, 2014 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.
Maslia, who at his April 9, 2014 passing was Managing Director of Retail Services for AmericasMart® Atlanta, was a veteran retailer having begun his long career at Rich’s department store, and later going on to found the highly successful Linen Loft and Social Expressions specialty-store chains. The GHTA/ Gift for Life Honor of Excellence is named by independent action of the judges, at their sole discretion and initiation, from the field of Achievement nominees.
“Albert was, and is, an absolutely irreplaceable presence of vitality, energy and optimism,” notes Jeffrey L. Portman, Sr., vice chairman, president and chief operating officer of AmericasMart Atlanta, the founder and primary sponsor of ICON. “His imprint on who we are, and what we do as an industry, is unmistakable and indelible. His life and legacy touches all of us in many, many ways,” Portman adds.
An Atlanta native, Maslia worked at the venerated Rich’s Department Store from 1952 to 1978. He began in the training program as a shoe salesman in the basement and worked through the ranks to become a senior vice president and member of the Board of Directors.
After 26 years at Rich’s, he left to create two well-known and successful local retail chains – Social Expressions and The Linen Loft. After 22 years at Social Expressions growing the business to 14 stores in the metro-Atlanta area and selling the chain to American Greetings.
Maslia moved on to his next venture becoming the Managing Director of Retail Services for AmericasMart, a retail instructor at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and a consultant for a variety of organizations including American Greetings and the Small Business Administration.
Always committed to assisting and empowering the Atlanta community, Maslia was involved with a variety of associations, boards and committees such as: Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Lenox Square Merchants’ Association, Underground Merchants’ Association, Emory University Business School Alumni Board, Marine Toys for Tots, Congregation Or VeShalom Synagogue, Buckhead Business Association, City of Atlanta Board of Zoning Adjustment, Fulton County Board of Assessors, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and Cornerstone Bank of Atlanta.
Part of his legacy to his wife of 60 years, Lucy, his four children Dianne, Elise, Stephanie and Darryl, his 12 grandchildren and great-grandson, was his fervent belief that people are more important than things. Throughout this life and career, Maslia stuck by his ideals and mentored countless friends and colleagues to do the same.