Tell us about yourself, where are you from? What’s your background?
I am from Los Angeles, CA and my parents are from Israel & Argentina. I went to school at Shalhevet HS, Yeshivat Reishit, and then YU, where I graduated with a general business degree. I moved to Baltimore from New York after my marriage to my wife Jill (Venick) who is a 4th generation Baltimorean. We are blessed with five children; Judah, Maytal, Aaron, Noah, and Liana, and they all attend Ohr Chadash Academy. No one pronounces my name correctly.
What shul are you a part of? What does your learning schedule look like?
I pray weekly at the Chabad Israeli Center, and am a member of PJC, and Suburban Orthodox. I learn Chitas on a daily basis and deliver a weekly shiur on Tanya. Additionally, I have a YouTube channel where I talk openly about Modern Day Judaism and Chassidus.
Where do you currently work?
I’m the owner of Fram Monument Company. At Fram Monument, we work with families during the difficult period of having to purchase a cemetery memorial. We specialize in designing memorials, fabricating, engraving, delivering, and installing the stone in time for the unveiling. Rapid Medical specializes in transporting laboratory specimens from hospitals to laboratories, and operates in 13 states.
What interested you initially about making cemetery memorials?
When I joined Fram Monument Company in 2010, I quickly realized how antiquated the industry was. Other industries were advancing with modern technology, yet this age old business had not yet adapted. I felt strongly that customers deserved a better experience than what was currently being offered in the industry, and took the opportunity to modernize the business. Customers now meet with us virtually, design their memorials digitally, receive automated updates and completion photos, and overall have a much easier time completing an emotionally difficult task.
What makes your business unique?
Although we sell a product, I consider us a service company. Our clients are all suffering through a difficult time and treating them with a high level of care is crucial. We do our very best to treat our clients like family and meet their needs with the utmost level of sensitivity, while allowing our operational fortitude to provide them with beautiful memorials which are installed in time for their unveiling ceremonies.
What professional achievement are you most proud of?
For as much growth as my business ventures have seen, the most important aspect has been the company culture which I have bred. It required setting an example from upper leadership, all the way down to how we treat the FedEx delivery associate. Every member of our team recognizes that we have the opportunity to make a real kiddush Hashem doing what we do. We will often forgo profits in order to ‘do the right thing’ for our customers, in an effort to earn the ultimate profit from Above.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
Give as much tzedaka as you possibly can. If you can not think twice before buying yourself something, then you shouldn’t spend time deciding whether you can donate or not. Just do it! It will pay material and spiritual dividends galore.
What keeps you ticking day-in and day-out?
Aside from Fram Monument, I also own a national medical logistics business (Rapid Medical Logistics) that transports lab samples, organs, and pharmaceuticals. I recently launched a startup called AfterLife which digitalizes the end-of-life planning process. I recently helped found a new Jewish non-profit that will benefit the greater Baltimore community. This will be launching in the near future!
Do you have any hobbies?
I play ice-hockey, golf, guitar, and piano. I created and manage a Jewish boy’s ice hockey league which just completed its 5th year! It allows the Baltimore orthodox community to play a sport which is typically only available on Shabbos, and thankfully we have over 55 kids in the league annually. A lot of those kids’ parents started playing because of it as well!
Any last words of advice you can give to someone who is early in their business career?
Set long-term goals and don’t get deterred by the hiccups. Every obstacle is an opportunity to improve. Treat the obstacles as a stepping stone towards achieving your ultimate goal.
How do you pronounce your name?
Thank You Niv for being such an important part of the Baltimore community!