My name is Robert and I’m a community builder. As a ‘generalist’ with academic and practical experience in many areas of life, some call me a ‘Swiss army knife’ of sorts.
With humble beginnings, I was raised in the rust belt steel mill town of Lake Station, a bedroom community to the more historically famous, Gary, Indiana. The war in Iraq started just months before high school graduation in 2003 and I signed up for the US Navy Delayed Entry Program (DEP). Life took me in a different direction when I was awarded the Eli Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, a 4-year full tuition ride to any college in Indiana. While I began school at Purdue University majoring in engineering, I finished with a BSBA in Finance in December 2007 from Valparaiso University. Having perhaps the worst degree when the Great Recession began, I went back to school and received an MS in International Commerce & Policy in 2010, also from Valparaiso.
Since then, my life has pivoted between non-profits, government and private sector work. I have experience as a civil servant and political appointee roles at all levels of government: city, county, state and federal. I have also participated in political campaigns at all levels including my own in 2015. In the private sector, my time was spent with a sole proprietorship, family owned LLC, multi-national corporation and have also owned my own retail (clothing) store.
I believe there are five pillars to a strong community: education, business and labor, non-profits, government and faith-based organizations. This site serves as a tool to track my progress in community building and connect with others with common interests. It is through teamwork that we are able to achieve goals greater than ourselves. I am passionate about people and problem solving so let’s get together and create value for society!