Peggy Traub, Lesbian Philanthropist, Women’s Business Leader, Dies at 55

Peggy Traub in 2011. | ADESSO INC.

Peggy Traub in 2011. | ADESSO INC.

Margaret “Peggy” Traub, a prominent furniture industry businesswoman who promoted women in business as well as LGBT causes, died January 13 of cancer. She was 55 and is survived by her partner Phyllis Dicker, with whom she co-sponsored the Stonewall Traub-Dicker Rainbow Scholarship, established in 2004 through the Stonewall Foundation for lesbian students who “demonstrate their motivation to making a difference with their lives.” Traub was also a founding board member of the Lesbian Political Action Committee, or LPAC, in 2012.

Traub was the president and CEO of Adesso, begun in 1994 as a lighting and ready-to-assemble furniture company. With her commitment to helping other women in the business, she co-founded Women in the Home Industries Today (WithIt) in 1997. When she received the group’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, Stephanie Lowder of Content Media hailed her as “a master of business, marketing, finance — and a champion of women and diversity in business.”

Warren Shoulberg of Home Textiles Today said, “She of course comes from retailing royalty,” a reference to her father, the late Marvin Traub, the CEO of Bloomingdale’s for 22 years, “but she has always managed to bring her own touch to the businesses she’s involved with, separate and apart from her gene pool.” He also credited her “passion for social issues.

Traub was a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization and served on the board of the Women’s Leadership Board of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Traub, a graduate of Harvard, met Dicker, a psychotherapist, in 1983 at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, New York’s LGBT synagogue. The couple celebrated their commitment ceremony in 2004.