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Rich Woolfson, 54

Medford, N.Y. – Richard Woolfson, executive director of NECO Alliance member Intercounty Appliance, died unexpectedly on Sunday. He was 54.

Woolfson joined the Long Island appliance and CE buying co-op in 1989 as an operations manager and was promoted to buyer two years later. He was named executive director in 2008. 

During that time he spearheaded initiatives to increase Intercounty’s dealer membership and sales, and was instrumental in the formation of NECO (The Northeast Company), a division of the Nationwide Marketing Group, which unified five regional buying cooperatives into one of the nation’s largest distribution channels for major appliances.

In a statement, NECO’s executive director Anthony Bruno said, Woolfson’s “passion and expertise in negotiations, operations, finance and product knowledge provided an invaluable resource to the organization and became the foundation of its success. His zest for life, love of friends and detail to planning could always be counted on and will be remembered as some of his most endearing qualities.”

Woolfson is survived by his wife Fran, children Rich Jr., Elizabeth, Thomas, granddaughter Mikaela, and daughter-in-law Alaura. Services will be held at the Ruland Funeral Home, 500 North Ocean Avenue, Patchogue, N.Y., today and Friday, March 1, from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., and a Mass service will be held on Saturday, March 2, at 9:45 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Patchogue.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation be made to the American Heart Association on his behalf.