THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE LEGEND
By Beth Thomas Cohen ’88, Director of Alumni Relations
Josh Rubach ’88 not only runs a very successful company, but has also built a beautiful life in Demarest, NJ with his wife of 10 years, Beth, and their two children: six-year-old daughter, Jay, and four-year-old son, Shane. Josh has been a Partner at U.S. Standard Products for over 20 years. The company is a family-owned business started by his uncle in 1964, which Josh’s father later joined in 1968. U.S. Standard Products is on a mission: to provide American industry with some of the highest quality products available and to give back to the people that most deserve it by supporting those less fortunate individuals and their families with the financial and personal commitment they so richly deserve.
Josh grew up in West New York, NJ and came to The Elisabeth Morrow School in the first grade. From EMS, Josh went to Dwight-Englewood School, graduating in 1994, and then set off for Northwestern University, where he majored in history. After graduating from Northwestern in 1998, he moved to Barcelona, Spain for two years before returning to the states and settling in at the company.
I spoke with Josh about his life now, and how an institution like The Elisabeth Morrow School had a positive impact on him, professionally and personally.
As an alum myself, I value the incredible education that I received from The Elisabeth Morrow School, and I try to incorporate all of the teachings in my everyday life, especially practicing the 4 Cs: courtesy, cooperation, consideration, and compassion.
What is your most impactful memory at EMS and why?
I am thankful for the hands-on teaching at EMS; the faculty really helped me grow and mature into the person I am today. On a much lighter note, I fondly remember getting kicked out Mrs. Wilson’s art class all the time (wink).
We have been friends for many years and the BEST thing about being your friend is the tremendous amount of kindness and compassion you show, for anyone and everyone. This was clearly instilled by your parents and from the education you received at EMS. How do you continue to instill those same values in your own children?
I teach them that being kind doesn’t cost a thing. I also explain to them that there are so many children who are less fortunate in the world or who have nothing. They don’t have food, clothing, and toys. We frequently donate to those in need, and I want to make sure my children understand its importance.
How has your positive outlook on life helped make you successful in your field?
It all goes back to being positive every day, treating people with kindness and helping them have a good day. You choose what kind of day you’re going to have, and that sets the tone for the people you interact with. When people are in a good frame of mind, they’ll produce better outcomes. A sense of humor goes a long way!
What advice would you give your 12-year-old self and other children who are dreaming big here at EMS?
You have to take advantage of every opportunity you get in life. EMS students are luckier than they know and have a major head start. Seize the day, baby! EMS helps children understand the importance of giving back, whether it’s to their community, classmates, family, friends, or those who are less fortunate.
Why did you find it so important to create a business that also gives back?
My dad escaped the Holocaust and came here with nothing. He taught me to never make fun of people less fortunate because that was us. We all need to remember to stay humble.
Was there an EMS teacher who made a positive impact on your life? If so, who and why?
I remember gaining more confidence in the fourth grade. Mrs. Bhagia gave me so many nice compliments in comments in my report card. Mrs. Demartini was my fifth grade teacher, and she was always really encouraging and positive. Those things stuck with me. I really loved being in her class! Not to mention, fifth grade was a tough year for me...the Mets won the World Series!
I find that one of the best things about attending EMS is the lifelong friendships that you make, you and I being no exception. What is it about EMS that keeps us all together, even if we lose touch for a moment or we are geographically far apart?
I recently came across an amazing quote by William Saroyan: “You never forget the love you have for your true friends. You know who people are and they don’t change dramatically between childhood to adulthood. If you understand the concept of respect for others as a child, then you are halfway there in life.” I would add to the Saroyan quote: “Remember that every man is a variation of yourself. Life is better when you give to others and make their lives a little easier.”