A graduate of the University of Chicago School of Business, Abbott knew nothing of the furniture business and wasn’t even interested in it. He wanted to pursue a career in finance and did so at Harris Trust and Savings Bank in Chicago until WWII broke out.
In 1945, Abbott joined his wife Joan’s family business, Smulekoff’s Furniture Company. Lipsky’s vision allowed him the opportunity to remain a leader in the highly competitive furniture industry. Using his finance background, he increased Smulekoff’s by 120%, expanded the building over 43,000 square feet and continues the 4th generation tradition by having his daughter Ann take over the day-to-day operations.
Abbott’s determination to keep the downtown area alive demonstrates his community-mindedness in countless organizations including the Greater Downtown Association, now known as the Renaissance Group, The Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, and Mercy Medical Center Foundation.