"[Opening Civic Drugs] was a gutsy move, I mean, how many recent graduates of pharmacy school would walk outside and say, “I am going to open a drug store.” He was willing to take risks that more timid people wouldn’t take. He was fearless."

Eugene Driker Longtime Friend of Gene

"The one word I would use to describe Gene is driven. He lived and breathed Arbor Drugs 24/7. When Gene went into the stores, he would see everyone in the store – stock boys, cashiers – and get their opinions. Everybody’s input was important."

Eric Bolokofsky Arbor Drugs Senior VP of Merchandising

"[Gene] was always very interested in the details of the business, the minutiae. He wanted to know what was going on, what was new, what we could do better. I can still picture him walking through the office, sitting at a person’s desk and asking his favorite questions, “Well, what’s new?” and then “What else?” and then “ Well, what else?” He genuinely wanted to know."

Dennis Wozniak Arbor Drugs VP of Purchasing and Marketing

"Mr. Applebaum enjoys every minute of every day. He makes hard work seem fun. He never gets tired. He never complains. He never has a bad day and he is always moving at full speed. He would come in and typically be humming a tune. His eyes would twinkle and his smile would light up a room. It’s been such an honor… I’m just really proud to say that I work for Eugene Applebaum." 

Cindy Kopp Longstanding Employee of Arbor Drugs & Arbor Investment Group

"[Mr. Applebaum] built this dream on his own, really. He had a dream and he made it come true. He went from being a pharmacist, to owning one store, to over 200 stores. To me, that is the most amazing thing in the world."

Arlene Reaume Longstanding Employee of Arbor Drugs & Arbor Investment Group

"Gene is an entrepreneur. He has great business instincts and an enthusiasm for the business, it’s because of him Arbor that was incredibly successful. It’s amazing to me to see how strong he is, how positive he is, I’ve just never known anybody to be like that all the time; it’s what I admire most about him."

Gil Gerhard Arbor Drugs VP of Finance and Administration & CFO

“This [sale of Arbor Drugs] is a milestone in your life and in your career. Not just because of the size and amount of the transaction, but rather because of the magnitude of your caring and devotion. Caring about building a company that would set that standard for quality, customer service, dependability and a credit to our state. Your devotion to principal, community and especially to you devoted workforce is a commitment without equal. You didn’t just build a chain of stores, you built a human team of devoted, loyal and admiring individuals who you never let down or disappointed. You never forgot who you were or where you came from.”

David Hermelin Longtime Friend of Gene

“[Growing up, my dad] was a phenomenal role model. He always felt very strongly about taking care of the generation before you and he made sure we were all involved in caring for both his and our mother’s parents. Caring for family was always really important to him and that transfers to the whole community at large. You can’t just take care of yourself. You have to take care of others.”

Pamela Applebaum Gene's Daughter

“One of the most important things he taught us is to give back, and how much of a difference it can make in the lives of others. To help them through a crisis… or just to fulfill a dream. I carry my dad’s values around with me.”

Lisa Applebaum Gene's Daughter

“I believe Gene is a true leader. He draws people to him because of his personality, his integrity as a person, his values and even his sense of humor.”

Bob Aronson Former CEO of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

"My late husband, David, admired Gene tremendously. He admired his acumen. He thought he was a brilliant businessman. And when it came to philanthropy, they pushed each other. They just had this intellect, this drive and this ambition together. Gene had a willingness to do what David saw. He’d say, let’s figure out a way to make it happen, and they did. I think Gene is fearless." 

Doreen Hermelin Longtime Friend of Gene

"We were never strangers. From the moment we first met, we became lifelong friends. We understood each other’s interests, we talked endlessly about geopolitics, Zionism, Judaism, and the importance of family, culture and philanthropy. He was my confidante and inspiration". 

Spencer Partrich Longtime Friend and Arbor Drugs Board Member

"Gene Applebaum was a genius entrepreneur, ahead of his time, constantly adapting due to his keen observation and empowerment of others as they execute in their responsibilities. Building a drug store chain was but one example that brought out a great spirit of his ingenuity...always taking care of the community he loved so deeply, whether in the store or at his office or at the front door of their home, there was none other like him. His smile touched all of us."

Robert Schostak Longtime Friend of Gene

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Applebaum Family Office

480 Pierce Street, Suite 200

Birmingham, MI 483009

Applebaum Family Philanthropy


Andrew Echt

Director, Applebaum Family Philanthropy