WAYNE, N.J. – Michael Massood Sr., a co-founder of pioneering furniture carrier MGM Transport and American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame member, died at age 96 on Dec. 2.
Massood was born July 29, 1924, to Louis and Mary (Tashash) Massood in Paterson, N.J., the oldest of 10 children in his family, who emigrated from Aleppo, Syria.
He and his brother, George, got their start in New Jersey in the 1940s working as produce deliverymen for the family business. After serving in the military, they launched MGM Transport Corp. in 1952 as a railcar distributor of furniture in the New York City area.
Convinced of the need for a dependable, customer-focused furniture carrier, Michael Massood developed relationships with many of the industry’s leaders. Building on a reputation for honesty, fairness and reliability, Massood grew MGM from a single-truck operation into one of the Northeast’s premier railcar distributors, with more than 700 employees and $60 million in annual revenue.
In 1975, Massood navigated the deregulation of the trucking industry by opening a small warehouse operation in High Point. A pivotal move for both MGM and the furniture industry, the North Carolina operation changed the model for delivery of product and enabled the company to offer its customers timely, affordable and reliable deliveries throughout the East Coast.
Massood worked for more than 50 years to deliver furniture nationwide with great efficiency, based on a commitment to excellence and integrity. MGM’s innovations include a consolidation system from manufacturers to retailers at lower fees, assembly and repair facilities for foreign manufacturer, barcode technology to ensure accurate movement of goods, web-based tracking of shipments for retailers, a quick-ship program to expedite deliveries, a national consolidation center for Sears to deliver furniture to homes nationwide, a customer-focused warehouse program, the incorporation of air-ride suspension trailers to minimize product damage, and a cross-regional distribution system, making Southern-made furniture more accessible in the Northern states.
Massood was active in industry trade associations. Board service includes the American Home Furnishings Alliance, National Home Furnishings Assn., Greater New York Home Furnishings Assn., Specialized Furniture Carriers and International Federation of Transportation Assn.
A religious man with a passion for life, Massood also was a strong supporter of the City of Hope as well as Catholic charities such as St. Joseph’s Hospital Medical Center in Paterson, N.J., where he started a foundation for cancer research. His many honors include the International Home Furnishings Representatives Assn.’s Pillar of the Industry Award, the City of Hope’s National Home Furnishings Industry Man of the Year Award, the Anti-Defamation League’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Greater New York Home Furnishings Association’s Hal Meadoff Award and David Druckman Lifetime Achievement Award.
Massood was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years and mother of his children, Helen. Survivors include his wife, Norma; and children Elias A. Massood, Michael J. Massood, Edward A. Massood, Mary A. Massood and Bernadette S. Varone.
Funeral services were held Dec. 7, and a future Memorial Mass will be scheduled once COVID-19 restrictions have been eased. In lieu of flowers please consider Mary Help of Christians in North Haledon or the City of Hope Cancer Center.