PHILANTHROPY, A WAY OF LIFE
Community giving is one of the pillars of Bob Funk's beliefs.
Each year, in cities and towns across North America, local Express offices team with their associates, clients and friends to help fill community food banks and pantries. 2017 marks the fifth year for Brand It Blue Day.
“Brand It Blue Day is a unique event that allows the entire Express family to come together in the fight against hunger in the communities where we work and live,” said Bob Funk, CEO and chairman of the board for Express. “As we continue on our mission to put a million people to work annually, we’re looking forward to continuing to volunteer and serve people in need.”
In the past four years, Express offices donated 300,000 meals to nonprofit organizations across North America through their efforts on Brand It Blue Day. In 2016, more than 235 Express offices and 1,000 volunteers from California to North Carolina to Canada came together at local food banks and pantries across North America to help fight hunger.
sharing with our youth
Passing on valuable work ethic and knowledge to others.
Growing up as a farm hand on a family farm formed Bob Funk’s early values and work ethic. Upon moving his family to Oklahoma, Bob became enthusiastically involved with the Oklahoma Youth Expo organization. As Bob puts it: “It is a special treat to work with the leaders and youth within Agri-business. In my opinion and observations, these young people most often have exceptional work ethic, principled values and tremendous character traits”.
Bob is an active fundraiser for the organization, a dedicated supporter and cheerleader for the organization’s small staff, and an inspirational world-renown leader to the 7,000 young members.
For more than 100 years, the Oklahoma Youth Expo (OYE) has untied families from all 77 counties in a joint effort to showcase the state’s top livestock show while awarding more than $2 million annually in college scholarships and premiums to top students. Over the course of the 10-day event, OYE has a $24 million impact on Oklahoma City.
Bob Funk says it best: “OYE and platforms like it, are an investment in generations of children and the future of America’s workforce. The platform builds life skills and values. It’s programs foster treasured family traditions. It is grooming the next crop of students who will become tomorrow’s leaders. OYE represents the best of our future.”
Rural youth are the future of food security and they are building tomorrow’s food promise. They are our greatest investment in Oklahoma’s human capital.
A father of an OYE youth, Jerry Pfeiffer, says it this way: “Mr. Funk is beyond generous to the OYE organization. But he knows it’s not about the scholarship money. It’s bigger than that. It’s about the journey. This is how we raise our kids. They learned the harder they worked, the greater the rewards. And such is the same in life. A gift to that kind of ideal is something all families can get behind, because we’re invested in this journey for the long haul.”
Read More https://www.okyouthexpo.com/
THE FFA IS SPECIAL TO BOB
Growing up on a dairy farm gave BobFunk's appreciation for the FFA.
It is no surprise Bob Funk is a loyal supporter, philanthropist, advocate and involved leader with the National FFA Organization – at both state and national levels. Milking cows and managing livestock at his family farm in Duvall, Washington gave Bob hands-on experiences and a great sense of pride from ‘work well done’.
Today, Bob is a renowned global leader in the Staffing and Seedstock Angus industries, yet his boyhood jobs and on-the-farm roots allow him to uniquely connect with FFA – a student organization for high school-aged students interested in agriculture and leadership.
Each year, Tyler Novell and Jerry Fisk help assemble a special group of accomplished FFA leaders from across the nation as Bob extends a personal invitation for a dinner, tour and discussion in his beautiful home in Yukon, Oklahoma.
These impressive youth – ranging from Wyoming/Dakotas to the Midwest and Southwest – are encouraged to ask Bob any question. They typically center on vision and mission, goal setting, time management, 'stick-to-it' ness as well as building a brand, making tough choices, and dealing with peer pressure.
“For Bob to make this evening a great priority in his very busy schedule is the true example of a committed leader and cheerleading advocate,” says Oklahoma Agriculture Educator Jerry Fisk. “Bob explains the tenants of becoming successful in every facet of life, let’s our young people ask any questions they want, serves them a delicious meal and gives them a tour of the incredible property.”
“Our young people exit Bob’s home with a sense of awe knowing they just enjoyed a one-of-a-kind experience,” adds Fisk”. “Through an evening of exchanged ideas, the position is validated that faith, work ethic, humility, courage and values plays a critical role in an individual’s trajectory of success.”
With degrees in business administration and theology from an institution nearly 2,000 miles from Stillwater (Seattle Pacific) and with graduate work at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, Funk may seem an unusual fit as one of Oklahoma State University's (OSU) most significant contributors. However, it is quite the contrary according to the man who was instrumental in the union of the two parties.
“Mr. Funk’s Cowboy ethics, love for agri-business and competitive spirit provided the perfect backdrop for him to adopt Oklahoma State as his ‘state school.’ The relationship has been wonderful and all parties have greatly benefited,” said Craig Clemons, a former athletics administrator at OSU and current Funk employee.
Raised in Duvall, Washington, Funk grew up working on a dairy farm owned by his family. At an early age he came to the conclusion he wanted to become a minister, rancher and entrepreneur.
TO NO ONE’S SURPRISE, HE SUCCEEDED ON ALL COUNTS.
HONORING OUR VETS
By way of contributing to Hold My Hand non-profit charity, Bob Funk, his family and Express Company teams honor American wounded warriors and our country’s committed soldiers.
Bob believes it is critically important to stand firm, show our patriotism and honor these brave men and women who, without their sacrifice and love for this country, would have a disastrous effect on our freedom and national sovereignty – elements which we sometimes take for granted.
At all of our gatherings and special events, representing our staffing enterprises, ranching companies or our Clydesdale teams, we always honor, love and express our genuine appreciation to these individuals willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for countrymen and country.
Hold My Hand joined the Oklahoma Veteran Support team to help wounded and disabled veterans of Oklahoma. They honor and support men and women still in harms' way, those who have served and those still serving; our wounded and our fallen. They are our Stars with Stripes!
Watch this wonderful video below!
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given in good faith
Bob Funk receiving his honorary degree awarded by Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea. the Principal of the University. As Vice-Chancellor he confers degrees on behalf of the Chancellor and helps recognize the contributions of prominent figures in their fields of expertise.
Robert A. Funk stands in the court yard of Edinburgh University with David Ferguson, Professor of Divinity, Minister of the Church of Scotland and one of the Chaplains to the Queen.
In 2005, Robert A. Funk made a generous donation of $1,000,000 to one of his alma maters – the University of Edinburgh. This donation was made with the intention of improving the facilities for Special Collections at the institution’s New College Library, in accordance with the highest modern standards. Bob completed his graduate studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and was also awarded an honorary doctorate in Theology. In 2006, he was awarded Distinction of University Benefactor and is a Member of The University of Edinburgh’s James Clerk Maxwell Patron’s Club.
Staff/Faculty identified three key areas in which to accomplish the goal of
securing and enhancing the Special Collections at New College Library:
cataloguing and preservation
special collections facilities
safety and security
For example, the New College Library Pamphlet Collection contains over 30,000 items, the earliest dating from the 15th century, of which a large number came from ministers' libraries. The content is of great historical and literary value as well as being of theological interest. A section of the collection has already been catalogued as part of the RSLP (Research Support Libraries Programme) 19th Century Pamphlets Project.
This completed project results in greatly increased usage of the Pamphlets Collection, gives students insight to the catalogued collection and enables full access to all materials. The Funk Donation supports two full time cataloguing posts for two years which will undertake the cataloguing of at least 12,000 pamphlets to complete the online cataloguing of the New College Library Pamphlets Collection.
The University of Edinburgh has over 260,000 graduates around the globe. One of these distinguished alumni is Dr. Robert A. Funk - a philanthropist, strong ambassador and loyal advocate for our institution and our developing New College Library,” states Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Librarian – Divinity. “Dr. Funk’s gift has been transformational in revealing the importance of our unique collections and safeguarding them for the future. Through the latest technology and the painstaking cataloguing of historical documents, new audiences are discovering New College Library’s collections, enabling fresh contributions to learning, teaching and research.”
a patron of the arts
Bob Funk and companion Janine Regier attending the Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition & Sale. The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum hosts this annual exhibition of more than 300 paintings and sculpture by the finest contemporary Western artists in the nation.
Sculpture, Oils and Watercolors of the American West have always been greatly admired and enjoyed by Robert Funk. His appreciation for the Arts helped him become a buyer, patron, society Member, Board Member and, eventually, the Chairman of the Board of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Working with then-Museum President, Chuck Schroeder, Bob helped conceive a new category of giving called the Dally Horn Society with the idea that ten impassioned philanthropists would give $100,000 per year for a five-year window. This campaign created a new funding source of $1M each year.
Bob was the first to join and pledge this commitment.
During this time, Bob and Nedra were also called to contribute $2,000,000 for the relocation, remodel and curation of the most popular attraction/exhibit within the Museum, an authentic western town exhibit called "Prosperity Junction". Bob states, “I hope that the authentic late 19th century exhibit will help stimulate other contributions to this tremendous institution while also giving visitors, guests and families a true impression of which elements made up a typical town in the great American West.”
Bob’s collection of breathtaking art (mostly representing wildlife, landscapes and iconic characters of the America West) can be viewed and enjoyed at his home in Yukon, Oklahoma, Express Employment Professionals International Headquarters in Oklahoma City and the Express UUBar Ranch in Northeast New Mexico.
To view galleries and collections at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan expressing appreciation to Bob Funk who was chosen and re-elected to serve on the prestigious Federal Reserve Board. Bob is the only Oklahoman in history to have served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve’s Conference of Chairmen.
Given this track record (overseeing and the largest privately-held staffing company in the U.S. and ensuring Express Employment Professionals is a top contender in the human resource industry). it’s no surprise that a great quantity of Boards call on Funk to appreciate their vision and advance their mission. Churches, schools, trade schools and even Uncle Sam have come calling.
Robert A. Funk was chosen as a Director of the Tenth Federal Reserve District, the seven-state region that anchors the heart of the Great Plains. Initially appointed to the Oklahoma City branch, he then joined the Board of Directors of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Board, was chosen chairman, re-elected chairman, and, in 2007, selected as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve’s Conference of Chairmen.
Bob is the only Oklahoman to have served in the distinguished role of Chairman of the Federal Reserve’s Conference of Chairmen. But he quipped to former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan and current Chair Ben Bernanke: “Don’t go telling too many people that. They might hold it against me,” he says and bursts out laughing.
Bob Funk and Express Support Oklahoma’s CareerTech Teachers
Bob Funk receiving the 2017 ACTE Business Leader of the Year award. Bob is pictured her with Skye McNiel, a former state representative, and currant leader of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education -- Oklahoma’s largest association of career and technology education professionals with more than 3,400 members.
Since 2014 Express Employment Professionals has given $80,000 to support the efforts of CareerTech educators and support personnel. Awards are given to the CareerTech Teacher of the Year and other outstanding CareerTech professionals.
“Express is in the business of putting people to work. In fact, 30,000 of our employees are right here in Oklahoma. Inspiring and equipping our state’s future workforce depends on exemplary teachers like these who provide students with the type of skills highly sought after by employers. These are skills we must master if we want Oklahoma to thrive and move our citizens into wealth-building careers,” said Bob Funk, CEO and chairman of the board for Express Employment Professionals. “Sponsoring these awards is our way of encouraging CareerTech educators that their work matters profoundly. We also wanted to give them a boost in classroom resources to help equip students to succeed in life and in the workplace,” Funk said.
Marcie Mack, director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education said, “CareerTech is grateful for Express’s generous contribution in recognizing exceptional CareerTech educators and professionals. This support reinforces the important work these individuals provide on a daily basis to train a high-quality workforce.”
Governor Mary Fallin said, “I couldn’t be more pleased to see a tremendous Oklahoma company like Express team up with our CareerTech system to show support and enthusiasm for Oklahoma teachers. We have one of the finest CareerTech systems in the nation, and that is a direct result of the outstanding teachers who work hard to cultivate high-quality classroom experiences for their students.”
Bob Funk signs and supports some of the world’s best cowboys
Bob Funk with Cord McCoy, former professional bull and saddle bronc rider who is best known as the 2nd-place finisher (along with his brother Jet McCoy) on The Amazing Race 16 and placed 5th on The Amazing Race 24.
As a lover of all things Western, a big fan of the first American sport (Rodeo) and good, fun competition, Bob Funk has signed and sponsored some of the top rodeo athletes in modern history. In 2007, the 19 Express-sponsored bull riders included former PBR world champions Chris Shivers, Ednei Caminhas and PRCA world champion Mike White.
But Bob’s favorite rodeo-related sponsorship and now cherished friendship has come from cowboy who rides roughstock, Billy Etbauer. Roughstock is slang for the rodeo events of bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding.
Bob met Billy Etbauer, a South Dakota ranch-raised bronc rider, during a performance at the Lazy E Arena. They can often be seen hanging out together at the 10-day National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Bob was with Billy at the Finals when he clinched his first Saddle Bronc Riding World Champion title and earned $101,531.
"Knowing where Billy started and now seeing him at the top of his sport is exhilarating," states Funk. “As proud as I am of his significant accomplishments in this great American sport, I also appreciate that he is a prudent businessman, a devoted husband and father and loyal friend.”
"Billy and his brothers wouldn't be flying if it weren't for Bob Funk and Express Ranches," states Billy’s wife Hollie Etbauer. "Bob has made a world of difference in our lives. He has sponsored and supported Billy, his brothers Robert and Dan Etbauer and Craig Latham.” Billy Etbauer is the only $3 million-plus bronc rider to ever draw a breath. He has won the PRCA Saddle Bronc World Championship five times and enjoys competing in the PRCA with his brothers Robert and Dan.
Bob Funk and companion Janine Regier with another Express-sponsored World-class Cowboy, Silvano Alves and his kids. Hailing from Brazil, Silvano Alves is the first rider to win back-to-back PBR World Championships. At age 23, Silvano’s career lit up the scoreboards and the history books when he became the first rider to capture three event wins in his Rookie Season.
Riding high is Funk-sponsored Cowboy Billy Etbauer who won the PRCA Saddle Bronc World Championship five times.