Boldt Builds Career at Nebraska Furniture Mart
By Dan Silvia
Tony Boldt is a mover, shaker, and leader. Those attributes have helped him climb the ranks to the top rungs at Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM), the Omaha-based home furnishings giant. He took over for Ron Blumkin as President and Chief Operating Officer in June 2017.
Boldt, who earned his Bachelor of Science in Management at Bellevue University in 2011, will oversee store operations in all regions, with responsibilities including human resources, security, finance, customer care, and information technology. Boldt will also work with the Chief Executive Officer, Irv Blumkin, on corporate strategy.
“It takes a large team working together seamlessly to provide the customer experience we are looking for,” said Boldt, a graduate of City High in Iowa City, Iowa. “With the thousands of positive customer surveys we get, these are great examples of a solid team working together to achieve what we value most which is customer appreciation. I also enjoy constantly looking for better ways to do things. Thinking outside the box on how we can engage our customers in an experience they value. I am very passionate about having fun with our customers and with our staff. We really believe that happy staff equals happy customers.”
Boldt started his NFM career at Homemakers Furniture in Des Moines, Iowa, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NFM, about 15 years ago. He moved up to Warehouse Manager at NFM of Des Moines, Flooring Builder Sales Manager, and then to Des Moines Store Manager. After about four years in that role, he moved to Omaha and was the Appliance and Electronics General Sales Manager for two years before moving to Kansas City to be the NFM Kansas City Store Director.
“When I started my career at NFM, I did not envision that I would be in the role of President of NFM someday,” Boldt said. “I have been incredibly fortunate that I have had great mentors that have helped me grow as a leader. I am a very driven person and I have always wanted to broaden my circle of influence to continue to build an environment where people want to work and shop. I am looking forward to my new role so that I can continue that evolution for me and my team.”
Boldt took advantage of the partnership between Bellevue University and NFM to earn his degree.
“I was looking to finish my degree and NFM had built a great relationship with Bellevue University, so I decided to give it a shot. It was a great experience.” Boldt said. “I was part of an online cohort program. I was in class with several of my fellow NFM teammates from different regions. We could independently write papers about our experiences and some of the leadership situations that we faced. It allowed us to bond and brainstorm some bigger ideas to continuously improve at NFM.”
Boldt said he was able to take what he learned in the classroom and apply it on the job.
“The more information that you can get and apply, the more it all makes sense,” he said. “Leadership is always evolving in all of us regardless of title and it is important to keep learning and practicing your skills.”
Juggling school in addition to work and family responsibilities can be challenging, but it is manageable, Boldt said.
“I hear from a lot of people that, ‘they just don’t have time,’” he said. “At the time I went back to school, I had two kids, a wife that was working very hard at her career, and I was running the Des Moines Store. It does take time management and discipline, but it can be done if you commit to it. I think it is safe to say that I would not be in my role had I not finished my degree. It was an important part of my development.”