Houston’s Mattress Mack And Daughter Liz McIngvale To Headline “A Beacon Of Hope”

Back in the 1980’s, Houston had three legendary personalities known to insiders as “The Three M’s.” That’s because each of their first monikers started with a “M” and they were bigger-than-life — Houston Chronicle columnist Maxine Mesinger, KTRK consumer reporter Marvin Zindler and Mattress Mack (aka Jim McIngvale), whose TV commercials for his furniture store literally jumped off the screen.

Jim CIngvale*

Jim McIngvale*

Both Maxine and Marvin have gone to the Big H in the sky, but Mack is still rocking and rolling. Having graduated from Dallas’ Bishop Lynch High School in 1969, he headed down to Houston to make his fortune. But Lady Luck wasn’t being very nice at first.

First a potential investor in his Gallery Furniture bailed on him. Then the oil industry did the same thing to Houston as a whole. With his last $10,000, Mack put it all in area TV commercials in 1983. Not happy with what was being produced, he took over appearing in the commercial pulling money out of his pocket and shouting, “Gallery Furniture saves you money!

Over the years, Mack and Gallery Furniture grew in size, success and fame. He was the P.T. Barnum of furniture. There was the unmarked truck episode. Originally marketing to lower-income customers, Mack announced that he had arranged for an unmarked truck to deliver his furniture to West University clients so as not to embarrass them.

And then there was the Super Bowl XLVIII promotion that guaranteed a full refund on any purchase of more than $6,000 if the Seattle Seahawks won. Sales boomed with furniture being delivered up to the fourth quarter. The Seahawks won. He refunded $7M to customers. Mack told ABC13, “As far as financially, we didn’t do well,” he said. “But we did a great job building the brand and delighting customers and if we do that, the business will continue to grow.”

He most recently refunded more than $4.2M to 420 customers who bet against the Astros this past October. Again, his attitude was “The customers are happy. We’re happy.”

Liz McIngvale*

Liz McIngvale*

But Mack wasn’t just all business. He was into philanthropy raising money for the Houston Symphony and The Salvation Army and funding the U.S.’s first mobile stroke unit.

Mack has also been a parent and that’s what bringing him to Dallas on Wednesday, February 11, for “A Beacon of Hope Luncheon” at the Westin Galleria. He and his daughter Liz McIngvale-Cegelski will “share the compelling story of their family’s journey through years of battling severe mental illness, told from the viewpoints of both parent and child.”

There were times when Liz’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder had her washing her hands more than 100 times a day and and then trying to open doors with her foot.

Bob and Maloree Banks*

Bob and Maloree Banks*

Presented by the David B. Miller Family Foundation, the luncheon is being chaired by Maloree and Bob Banks to raise funds for the Grant Halliburton Foundation.

This luncheon may not “save you money,” but it just may save your well being.

* Photos provided by
 A Beacon of Hope