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Have You Met?

Bob moved to South Florida at the age of 7 and attended Nova Middle and High Schools.  He attended Michigan State University and left after being accepted into the United States Naval Academy.  Served ten years in the Navy as the Engineering Officer on the USS Narwhal, SSN 671 and as an Instructor and Division Officer at Naval Nuclear Power School and Naval Nuclear Field “A” School. Upon leaving the Navy in 1990, he went to work for OK Generators.  Bob purchased the company with a partner in 1998 and bought out the partner in 2004.  He completed second degree in Electrical Technologies from NYU in 2003.

  • Served in the United States Navy from 1980-1990. Earned Navy Achievement Medal
  • Served in the Florida Highway Patrol Auxiliary from 1988-1992
  • Instructor for Electrical Generation Systems Association (EGSA), power generation school. Developed curriculum and teaches basic and advanced course tracks (12 years).
  • BS, Nuclear Engineering, United States Naval Academy
  • BS, Electrical Engineering, University of New York
  • President/CEO OK Generators
  • Managing Director of ValiDATE
  • Director Thunder and Lightning, LLC
  • Director, Caribbean Generators, Ltd
  • Board Chair Broward Health Foundation 2013-2016
  • Board Chair 2-1-1 Broward, 2014-2016
  • Board Chair, HANDY, 2015-2016
  • Board Member, Secretary, Broward College Foundation, 2013-2016
  • Member of Advisory Council of Mission United, Chaired Education Committee 2014-2016
  • Member Board of Directors, Broward Workshop 2013-Present
  • Member of Broward Workforce Development Board 2016-Present
  • Member of City of Deerfield Beach Economic Development Advisory Council 2016-Present
  • Chair of March of Dimes Signature Chef event (two years)
  • Chair Broward Health Ball (three years)
  • Chaired Leadership Broward Gala
  • Active member of The Association of Energy Engineers
  • Honored at National Philanthropy Day by AFRP  as Volunteer of the Year 2015
  • Honored by Broward college as a Distinguished Alumni 2015
  • Honored by Deliver the Dream as a Community Champion 20016

Going back to when you first started with your organization to now, what has been your proudest personal accomplishment? Being able to give back to the community

What do you enjoy the most about your work?  I love the art of the deal.  Negotiating a complex job and then completing and over-performing  is very satisfying

Do you have a mentor; someone who has been there to guide you or consult with you when you needed their input?  Many, in different parts of my life.  My axiom is that everybody you meet has something to teach you.

You are out in the public arena quite often; who is the most interesting person you have ever met?  I spent about a half hour talking with Steve Forbes.  The way his mind works fascinates me.

What program with your organization do you get the most excited about? 211 is my first board and first love.  So many great people are involved.

How did you determine which charitable organizations you would support?  Causes that I have passion for.

Is there a charitable event(s) you really look forward to attending each year? 211 Non-profit awards, Broward health Ball

How have things changed for you through the years? As my business has grown, my involvement has grown.  I like to set a good example for my children teaching them that giving back is a duty we all have.

What is your greatest strength(s) that makes you such an asset to your organization?  I know that running a non-profit is like running a business.  You can’t get complacent or stagnate.

What is your greatest challenge at this time?  Broward health with all the stigma it carries is a challenge to deliver the message that the Foundation is doing some incredible things.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?  Being content with who you are and where you are going in life.

What is the most important thing you have learned through the years?  You don’t know what you don’t know.  There is always more to learn.

How do you relax?  What’s that?

 Do you have a favorite vacation spot? Cayman Islands. 

 What do you wish you could have a never-ending supply of?  Youth.

If you found a treasure chest – and you could keep it, what would you want to be in it? World peace

How can we reach out to other people in the world?  Through philanthropy

Is there an inspirational book you have read that you would recommend to others? Malcom Gladwell, everything he writes

What can make you laugh?  Being around my friends.

What can make you cry?  A corked bottle of my favorite wine.

Are you where you hoped you would be at this point in your life?  I never could have imagined that I would be as fortunate as I am at this point in my life.

What do you still hope to accomplish?  I would love to leave my thumb print on the community.   Something I can look at and think “Bob Birdsong did some good”

What do you think is the biggest problem we are facing in this country today? Partisanship

How do you want to be remembered by future generations?  As a community leader who invested in his fellow citizens.

What do your want your epitaph to read?  He gave of himself without expectations.

Do you have a motto, or some words of wisdom, that has guided you through your life?  Everybody you meet has something to teach you.

How do you stay so motivated and committed?  Realization that there is still a great deal of work to be done.

When does someone know when it’s time to move on? When you are kept from growing or realizing your potential

What is your favorite sport? Professional football

Do you feel women have made progress in their quest to be treated fairly and equally in the workplace?  They have, but we are not where we need to be.