Couristan President and CEO Ron Couri Dies at Age 70

Couristan President and CEO Ron Couri Dies at Age 70

Ronald Jacob Couri, of Fort Lee, New Jersey, passed away unexpectedly at his residence on March 1, 2023, at the age of 70. His family, friends, and employees are all deeply saddened by his passing.

Born on October 8, 1952, in Brooklyn, New York, to George Jacob Couri and Eleanor Veronica Shehab, Couri grew up in Dyker Heights with his three brothers, George, Robert, and Steven. He attended Poly Prep Country Day School, class of 1970, where he lettered in wrestling and lacrosse. He continued his education at Villanova and Temple universities, earning a business degree in 1974.

Couri was the acting president and chief executive officer of Couristan Inc., a 97-year-old family-owned business. Couri served the company for over 50 years. He was recognized by his peers and employees as an innovative leader in the area rug and home furnishings industries, whose passion and creative vision helped to secure his family’s business legacy.

Publicly acknowledged for the work he had done in support of “No Child Labor” laws, Couri structured strict “No Child Labor” policies within Couristan by implementing internal and third-party inspections of each facility where handmade area rugs were made. After confirmation, each area rug was verified with a “No Child Labor” tag on its backing.

He diligently explored new business opportunities and ventured into initiatives that would forever change the landscape of how area rugs were manufactured, marketed, designed, and colored. Through Couri’s vast knowledge of the floor-covering industry, he was able to structure licensing agreements with renowned and highly marketed brands under the Couristan umbrella including Vanderbilt, Forbes, Disney, CARE, and Marvel.

Perhaps his greatest business accomplishment, and one that continues to grow within the industry, was his vision of manufacturing and marketing indoor/outdoor area rugs. In 2001, under his guidance, Couristan launched its first outdoor area rug collection with its award-winning Recife Collection. At the time, many of his peers looked at the outdoor segment as a quick trend that would dissolve within five years. However, Couri’s perseverance and ingenuity would prevail; the outdoor area rug segment continues to grow exponentially with Couristan at its helm.

Anyone who knew Couri knew he had a tremendous passion for the arts, which he instilled in his children and grandchildren. The soundtrack of his life, and his favorite band, was proudly the Grateful Dead. Couri was a former board member of the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, New Jersey, and was named an Honoree in 2015 for his longtime generous support.

A world traveler, Couri particularly loved to vacation in Spain and Colorado. He also enjoyed the simple comforts of his mother’s home in the Poconos and kept his heart in San Francisco. He taught his children to be avid skiers, instilled in them a love of their Lebanese heritage with its food, and brought them back every year to his beloved Dyker Heights to see the Christmas lights on display. He was a family man through and through.

He is survived by his sons, Evan Brett Couri and Ronald George Couri; his daughter, Cristina Couri Salit; her husband, Eric Stephen Salit; and his grandchildren, Elle Harper Salit and Star Grey Salit.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation to the Ronald J. Couri Legacy Fund for the Bergen Performing Arts Center would be greatly appreciated: donate.