July 30, 2018
Meet the Staff Monday: Bob Roop, PE
By: Bonnie Dunkel
Written in bold on a whiteboard hung in our Marketing Department is a simple statement, “Be Like Bob.” Surrounding it are descriptions like, “funny,” “kind,” “well-traveled,” “hard-working,” and “care free.” The Bob who inspired this mantra is none other than Bob Roop, PE - Senior Vice President in our Infrastructure Division and a member of our Timmons Group family since his first day in March of 1978. One of the longest-serving Timmons Group employees, Bob’s dedication to his work, expertise in his field, and boisterous personality makes him one of our most recognizable and well-known employees to date.
We sat down with Bob to learn more about his nearly-50-year long career.
Do you remember your first day at Timmons Group?
Yes, I do. It was 1978 and I joined as an Engineering Manager. We only had four divisions back then and the Infrastructure Division didn’t exist yet. At that time the firm only had about 50 people.
Were you nervous?
*Laughs* No, of course not! What’s there to be nervous about?
How did you find out about the company?
They reached out to me through a classmate, Charles Warren. My previous company wasn’t going to grow the way I wanted it to, so I relocated back to Richmond from Norfolk.
What different groups within the firm have you worked in?
I’ve been lucky to work with several groups here! I went on to start our Infrastructure Division and lead that group for several years. I also was the head of the Marketing Department.
What’s your biggest piece of career advice for someone just starting out?
I definitely think it’s important to work hard and also play hard. Also, act like you own the business and treat it as your own. Remember, don’t be too nervous. The worst thing that can happen is you make a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes!
Timmons Group has grown a lot since you started. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the firm over the years?
Really the biggest change I’ve seen has been a philosophical change toward growth. Going along with that, I’ve also seen a bigger emphasis on empowering our employees and letting them grow professionally.
How many times have you “Retired?”
*Laughs* Just once!
What keeps you coming back?
I genuinely enjoy what I do. I enjoy the people I work with and the contacts I’ve made in the industry. It gives my life an even stronger purpose and keeps me vital.
You’re known around here as quite the wine connoisseur. White or Red?
Each wine has its place, however, my favorite wines are heavy, bold reds. Red wine has so many different flavors and it’s made to be had with good meals and good conversations.
What are your biggest hobbies outside of work? I know you love to drink wine, travel, and it looks like you’re a great dancer.
*Smiling* Oh yes, I love to dance! I went on my first date when I was 12 years old to take a girl to dance. Back then you didn’t take dance lessons, you just figured it out. All the drugstores had jukeboxes. You’d go there after school to have a coke and dance.
Outside of that I love to golf, fish, and boat. I also love gardening. One of my favorite quotes is, “to plant a flower is to believe in the future.”
You’re a big traveler. What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled?
The most fascinating place I’ve been is South Africa. I went for an international wine festival. I did four days in Stellenbosch and visited 3 wineries a day. We did around 36 wine tastings. South Africa has amazing wine! I’ve also been all over Europe. I loved Paris and London, and Ireland was neat. But out of all of them, Italy is probably my favorite place.
What do you love most about Timmons Group?
I love a lot of things. I’ve learned that you have to love the people you work with. I love the way this firm has grown and contributed to the community significantly. I think what I love most about it is how it has endeared my life. It has allowed me to be who I am.