Bob Funk Sr.
HIS LIFE. HIS LEGACY.
AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS
BOB FUNK INDUCTED INTO OKLAHOMA HALL OF FAME
Actor and friend Tom Selleck helps induct Bob Funk into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
Read Tom's remarks
Bob Funk accepts induction into Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
Read Bob's Remarks
induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame was a great evening.
See photos from the night
At the Awards Breakfast on Monday at the American Angus Association- Express Ranches of Yukon was honored as the premier seedstock operation in the Angus breed.
The American Angus Association awarded Express with their ROV(Roll of Victory) Breeder of the Year Award for 2019- with owner Bob Funk, President Jarold Callahan and Vice President Mark Squires on hand to receive the plaque.
The National FFA is honoring Oklahoma businessman and rancher Bob Funk Sr. with its VIP Citation Award at the organization’s annual convention in Indianapolis. The award is being given to Funk in recognition of his significant support for the FFA and agricultural education.
National FFA Chief Executive Officer Mark Poeschl said Funk and 12 other recipients from across the nation are being recognized for supporting the organization’s mission to help students succeed through hard work and cooperation.
“Without such strong and outstanding commitment, FFA would not be able to help build strong character in its members, who in turn become strong leaders in their families, communities and businesses.”
At the Convention in Indianapolis, Funk talked with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network's Ron Hays about the recognition and had the opportunity to visit with Oklahoma State FFA Officer team. (the team is pictured with Mr. Funk) Listen to Hays and Funk talk about his lifetime of generosity to FFA by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
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Express Ranches Wins the ROV Breeder of the Year Award from the Angus Association
Bob Funk to be Inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame
Express Employment Professionals CEO and chairman of the board, Bob Funk, now joins other remarkable Oklahomans as one of the newest members of the 90th class of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
Founded in 1927, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame was created to honor Oklahomans who have made outstanding contributions to the state during their lifetime and to provide educational programming for students of all ages. Being inducted to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame is the highest honor an Oklahoman can receive from the state. Notable past inductees include OKC Thunder basketball player Russell Westbrook, singer Vince Gill, actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth, meteorologist Gary England, businesswomen Sharen Jester Turney, baseball player Mickey Mantle, and actor Will Rogers. Each member’s biography and accomplishments are featured in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame gallery and archive.
“I am unbelievably humbled by this nomination and consider it a great honor to be recognized alongside other legendary Oklahomans,” Bob said. “The people of Oklahoma are very dear to my heart and it’s been a privilege to invest in their future.” The achievement was marked with a celebration at Headquarters on Thursday, May 18, with some of Bob’s favorite things.
The newest Hall of Fame inductee serves on a number of boards in Oklahoma, including Chairman of the OKC Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma Youth Expo, and the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. He also sits on the board for the American Staffing Association, FFA, and several banks.
The Journal Record named Bob Most Admired CEO in 2013, while Impact OKC recognized him as Man of the Year in 2015. Bob’s passion for education earned him the honor of 2017 Business Leader of the Year from the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE).
Nicknamed the “Doctor of Hope,” the Express CEO has contributed millions of dollars to local
nonprofit organizations and scholarships. This includes a donation of $1.5 million to the Oklahoma Junior Livestock Program and more than $3.8 million to nearly 415 participants in the Express Ranches Progressive Junior Scholarship Program. He also started a $5 million endowment to the Oklahoma Youth Expo to invest in agricultural education. “Giving back has always been one of the pillars of Express Employment Professionals,” Bob said. “It’s not just about building a successful business to help the local economy, but also providing hope for people through employment and investing in our communities.”
In addition to his passion for staffing, Bob enjoys raising Angus and Limousin cattle on nearly 200,000 acres of land as part of the Express Ranches. The Yukon, OK, ranch houses rare black-and-white Clydesdales, which serve as ambassadors for Express and make more than 200 appearances annually.
The Oklahoma Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held later in the year on November 16.
OKLAHOMA STATE HONORS THE WORK OF BOB FUNK
Bob Funk was named a 2014 recipient of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area has been named a 2014 recipient of the Oklahoma State University Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources’ DASNR Champion award. “The award is one of the division’s highest honors and recognizes those with exceptional records of providing meaningful and lasting benefits to Oklahoma and the region as part of the state’s production, processing and related agricultural industries, in addition to being outstanding leaders in their communities and supporters of OSU’s land-grant mission,” said Mike Woods, DASNR interim vice president, dean and director.
INTERNATIONAL FRANCHISE ASSOCIATION HONORS BOB
This award, IFA’s oldest and most prestigious, is presented to an IFA member, past or present, who exemplifies the optimum in franchising and has contributed significantly to the advancement of franchising and the franchising community. Prior to founding Express Employment Professionals, now an international staffing firm, Robert A. Funk gained extensive experience with Acme Personnel Services, beginning as a personnel consultant and then rising to first vice president.
Active in numerous professional organizations, Funk served as chairman of the Conference of Chairmen for the Federal Reserve Bank System in 2007 and chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, serving the 10th district from 2006-2007. At IFA, he’s served on the board of directors, was selected as IFA’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000 and as a member of the IFA Educational Foundation’s board of trustees.
His extensive community involvement includes being an active member and former chairman of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, a member and former chairman of the Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) board of trustees and chairman of the Business Affairs Committee at OBU.
In addition to business and community affiliations, Funk is an avid rancher, notably a leading Angus cattle producer and the largest seed-stock producer in America. In 2005, he received the Oklahoma State University’s Department of Animal Sciences Distinguished Service Award. Also, Funk owns the Express Sports Agency and is a majority owner of the Oklahoma City Dodgers Minor League Baseball team.
The Best of the Best 2017
Bob Funk was named a 2017 recipient as a top CEO in Oklahoma by Oklahoma Magazine!
OKLAHOMA FFA VIP AWARD
On May 1, 2018 the Oklahoma FFA Association graciously awarded Bob Funk, Sr. the VIP Award—the highest level of public recognition and appreciation bestowed by this impressive organization.
At the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City and in front of 12,000 young agribusiness leaders from all 77 counties in Oklahoma, Mr. Funk presented a scholarship contribution of $50,000 and delivered these acceptance remarks
Read Bob's remarks
A PIONEER IN THE WORKPLACE FOR FAMILIES
In 2016, Express Employment Professionals International Headquarters announced a new employee benefit: fully underwritten childcare for each dependent of Express Headquarters employees. As the first business in Oklahoma to offer this benefit, this is yet another example of the forward thinking inspiration that defines Bob Funk and his organization as a whole.
2017 business leader of the year: robert a. funk
Bob Funk of Express Employment Professionals has been named as the 2017 Business Leader of the Year by the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). The ACTE Business Leader of the Year award celebrates the contributions and achievements of an executive from the business community who has demonstrated a solid and sustained commitment to improving career and technical education (CTE).
Funk is co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. With international headquarters located in Oklahoma City, it is one of the largest staffing companies in North America. Under Funk's leadership, Express has put more than six million people to work worldwide and has grown to more than 770 franchises in the United States, Canada and South Africa. Funk's passion for CTE comes from years of fulfilling staffing needs for client companies that consistently acknowledge the growing need for skilled workers.
Identifying a need for greater understanding of job market opportunities between educators and students, Express developed the free "Job Genius" educational video series to offer insights to job seekers and students on where and how to find gainful employment. Seeking to further empower the next generation to make knowledgeable education and career decisions, Express partnered with CEV Multimedia to develop online Career Preparedness and Business Office Technology Certifications.
Funk advocates that CTE not only offers the technical and workplace skills needed to succeed in a 21st-century workforce, but it also leads to a rich variety of fulfilling careers. In 2014, he commissioned a white paper that explores the return on investment of traditional academic higher-education degrees compared to CTE alternatives.
Under Funk's leadership, Express began sponsoring the ACTE Excellence Awards in 2014 as a gesture of support for the work of CTE educators across the nation. Personal financial support from Funk and that of Express has exceeded $5 million in student scholarships and grants to numerous youth organizations and agricultural establishments.
Funk was recognized alongside other national ACTE award winners on Nov. 30 at the annual ACTE Awards Banquet during ACTE's CareerTech VISION 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. VISION is ACTE's signature event, with more than 3,000 attendees, career and CTE professionals from across the country.
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation's largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE represents the community of CTE professionals, including educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others at all levels of education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities.
Express CEO Inspires OSU-IT Graduates to Live the Dream
A man whose vision has put more than six million people to work worldwide and nearly 375,000 in Oklahoma since 1983 addressed the 202nd graduating class of Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT)—many of whom will join the workforce immediately. Founder and CEO of Express Employment Professionals Robert Funk served as commencement speaker for the ceremony on the OSUIT campus Dec. 11, 2016.
“I truly love seeing people of all ages launch their careers, begin businesses and embark on new endeavors,” he told the more than 240 graduates and their families and friends. “It is a hopeful and exciting time of life. It’s a time for vision and looking ahead. It’s a time to plan your work and work your plan. It’s a time to begin pursuit of the American Dream.”
Just as Express provides qualified individuals career opportunities based on their background and experience, OSUIT provides career readiness through an education enhanced by industry leaders and businesses who have the vision to invest and grow the workforce of tomorrow.
Funk shared his confidence to graduates that they would find success and a career after graduation, and that they had taken an important step in getting the education and training they need to enhance their skills and employability.
“Some of the best paying and most in-demand jobs in Oklahoma and throughout America are in your chosen fields of engineering, information technology, nursing, heavy equipment technicians, construction technology, automotive, graphic design, culinary arts and more,” he said. “I’m excited about the professions you’ve chosen and know that you have a tremendously bright future.”
Over the years, Funk has become more and more concerned about the lack of people pursuing a career in a skilled trade or industry where the need outweighs the number of trained workers available. He has become an outspoken advocate for career technical education in statewide education forums and a leading voice in the national skills gap discussion.
“We’re facing a skills gap in Oklahoma and America. On any given day at Express Employment Professionals, we have more than 40,000 jobs openings throughout North America,” he said. “We interview more than two million job seekers each year and place about 32 percent in jobs through Express. The rest are not qualified for the jobs we have available or they are not employable.”
OSUIT President Bill Path says his students don’t go to college to find themselves, they go to college to find a job. “We pride ourselves on giving our students not only a well-rounded education, but also the skills and training to ensure that they have a bright future after they walk across our graduation stage.”
Many of the skilled and technical professions these graduates are now trained to do are the exact positions companies are clamoring for, Funk said. And Oklahoma is primed to offer the opportunities for business success.
“Oklahoma is a state where the American dream still exists,” said Funk. “People with big dreams, can see them come to fruition because of the Oklahoma spirit. Our state welcomes entrepreneurs. And, the result is an environment where businesses and employees thrive.”