Murray Portnoy (1923-2006), founder of Portnoy, Messinger, Pearl & Associates, Inc. was born on New York's Lower East Side, where he grew up during the Depression as the youngest of seven children. A self-made man in the truest sense, he left grade school to help support his family. At age 12, he worked fifty hours a week for $5. Odd jobs included selling meat door-to-door with a horse and a stint as a metal spinner. Eventually, he joined a labor union and thus began an illustrious career as an organizer, business agent, and officer. He was a strong advocate for worker's rights and a determined fighter for civil rights. Twenty-five years later, he started his own labor relations consulting firm out of an extra room in his home, representing management. Newsday ran a cover story on November 15, 1979 with the headline "A Union Man Who Switched Sides."
His shift in allegiance was not without risk. While he was advising several firms that were undergoing strikes, the fire department rushed to his home to quell a blaze that was later labeled an apparent arson, since it had been preceded by a threatening call to the house. An investigation was conducted by both the organized crime and arson squads of the Nassau County Police Department, the FBI, and local county district attorneys' offices.
Forty years later, the business has now expanded to include a full staff of HR consultants and attorneys. But beyond his self-made success, Murray had the unique, endearing ability to touch the lives of each and every person that had the good fortune to cross his path. He made people feel good about themselves, never sparing a genuine compliment. He was proud of his involvement in the business, as well as in political and community affairs. He never stopped advocating for those he felt deserved a fair shake.
Murray's philosophy and dedication continues to be the guiding principle at PMP.