From Promotional Products to Personal Protective Equipment

How Shumsky Enterprises shifted to help our community and beyond

by Courtney Cummings

The ability to adapt and evolve is an important characteristic of the Jewish people, as we have had to do just that countless times throughout the generations.  In addition, our strong core value of repairing the world holds true from Biblical times.  Courtney Cummings sat down (remotely) with Temple member, Mike Emoff, to learn more about how his business shifted to help save lives during this pandemic.

A brief history of the company: Founded in 1953, Hy and Elsie Shumsky created Shumsky Enterprises with a few catalogs, a card table, and two chairs in a ten-foot room, here in Dayton, Ohio.  Fast forward 50 years to when Michael Emoff took over as the third generation owner of Shumsky Enterprises from his mother, Jayne Emoff Miller.  He quickly developed a passion for creative product development and solutions for their clients.  Creating and selling everything from apparel to drink ware to party supplies to personal care items and more, Shumsky became a leader in the market for promotional products. 

With their infrastructure in place at the beginning of this pandemic, the company shifted to help our Dayton community and beyond.  Mike Emoff, Chief Vision Officer, says:

“At the onset of COVID-19, we realized we had an opportunity to help repair the world. Listening to our customers, especially those in the healthcare industry, and what was going on around us, we learned that there was a real shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

We went all-in on an opportunity to adapt our business to PPE for the greater good. Leveraging our existing FDA registered and our trusted global supply chain, we were able to pivot from primarily selling promotional products to a heavy focus on face masks, hospital gowns, and hand sanitizers to support the fight against COVID-19.”

They didn’t stop at their customers, as friends and family learned of their new focus, and requested supplies for themselves and their businesses.  Mike says,  “To accommodate these requests, we made the decision to keep stock and we quickly built an online store for our friends, family and customers, making it simple and easy to get PPE for their employees, customers, members and the community. In addition to PPE supplies for small and large businesses, we’ve created an online store to serve your family and friends. If you’re looking for PPE items to help keep your loved ones safe, you can place individual orders on our website:” 

Mike’s core Jewish values are showing through, with the importance of pikuach nefesh – preservation of life – and tikkun olam – repair of the world.  He says, “We believe that this temporary transition to focus on PPE was not only our responsibility as a trusted source, but our purpose, as we continue to help and serve others in our community and beyond. We’ve worked with multiple charities, donating PPE product where we can. Clearly we don’t know what the future will look like. All we know is that we’re supposed to be here to help the process of repairing the world.”

We are proud to have Mike Emoff and his family as members of Temple Israel, modeling the way our Jewish community can and will protect one another.