Friend and actor Tom Selleck presented the Hall of Fame medal to Mr. Funk.
It’s great to be back in Oklahoma!
I first met Bob Funk at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum. Two things immediately became crystal clear. He is a true cowboy and he is an Oklahoman.
Spend any time with him and two more things become self-evident. His conservative values and his patriotism. So it’s not surprising that the words, God, integrity, people, teamwork and commitment to excellence are words that line the halls of his company, Express, and they are woven throughout the fabric of every Express franchise across the U.S., Canada, and South Africa. Bob’s success is a beacon of hope to anyone striving to achieve the American dream.
Recently, over dinner, our conversation invariably led to a discussion of leadership. If you spend a little time with Bob, it doesn’t take long to see how he inspires people to follow their dreams. And he knows a thing or two about putting people to work. For the past 51 years, this Oklahoma business man and rancher has poured leadership wisdom into hundreds of thousands of job seekers. He’s helped more than 6.5 million people find work during his career.
Bob’s entrepreneurial spirit has spawned multiple businesses. He enjoys franchising and small business. He sees it as the life blood of the American economy. And he doesn’t think small. He has led Express Employment Professionals to the largest industrial and administrative staffing company in the U.S.
On top of that, Express Ranches is the largest purebred cattle producer in the U.S., winning thousands of championships in the cattle industry. And his world champion Express Clydsdales travel extensively around the state of Oklahoma providing entertainment and raising funds for charities throughout the U.S. and Canada.
It takes vision and unwavering commitment to accomplish big goals. He will tell you that it’s all about hiring talented, hard-working people that share your same vision and purpose that multiplies success.
So it’s a true testament to Bob as a father, friend and leader that his family and friends gather here tonight to honor and celebrate with him. If you talk to any friend of Bob’s, what you’ll undoubtedly hear is that Bob is a visionary as well as a kind and generous man.
But that generosity doesn’t stop with family and friends. Bob has contributed more than $20 million to local organizations and charities both personally and through the Express Philanthropic Fund.
Bob personally owns 32 Express offices in the state of Oklahoma, employing nearly 30,000 people each year. That places the company among the top three largest employers in the state.
Bob aspires to the notion that everyone deserves to experience the satisfaction and self-esteem that come from being engaged in meaningful work. In short, Express is in the employment ministry. Employment impacts all of our lives. And when Express helps people find jobs, it helps restore confidence and provides hope. He knows, thank goodness, that there is honor and fulfillment in hard work.
So… and here we are, and that the good people of Oklahoma are honoring Bob Funk with his induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame is, if you will permit me, a very wise choice.
So bob, “congratulations, my friend.”