Who is Bob?


A fairly recent picture of me taken by Aviva

I’m a husband and father. I’m on my second marriage; I have a son, Nathan, from my previous marriage. You can learn about my wife Aviva.

Me a number of years ago in front of the Late Show studio in NYC
A more recent photo of me working in our garden in Chicago
Me a number of years ago in front of
the Late Show studio in NYC
A more recent photo of me working
in our garden in Chicago

In my spare time, I like making electronic music and programming using my MacBook Pro. I’ve written a couple of Eclipse plugins (Eclipse is a development tool for Java among other things).  I love to travel, read, and play with our puppy. We have a little schipperke, Iggy, that also consumes lots of time and love.

Iggy laying on me

That's our new bundle of terror, Iggy Pup

We had a house in Old Irving in Chicago; now we live outside Los Angeles in Woodland Hills, CA. My favorite television show was Homicide: Life on the Streets, and I also used to watch West Wing; I really liked the energy (it would be great to work in an environment like that for a year and then collapse). But I’m also watching Drawn Together (I think its one of the most clever animated shows on television).

I was lucky growing up – my family had a metal and wood shop in the basement, so we did a lot of things for ourselves. We built a Schober Theater Organ from a kit – 4,000 capacitors and 10,000 resisters to be soldered onto circuit boards (this was before integrated circuits became ubiquious), and then the whole solid walnut cabinet to assemble (we proved spontaneous combustion happens while finishing the cabinet) – here’s what it looked like when it was done:


I’ve been in the software business since getting my Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics from George Mason University in 1983; I spent four years at the University of Delaware majoring in Mathematics and Ancient History; I was part of the first year of their Freshman Honors Program, now the University Honors Program, at that time an early admittance program with guest faculty from all over the U.S. (I don’t have a high school diploma – I left high school a year early). I’ve travelled a lot for business. My first full-time position took me to Saudi Arabia for three months, with an exit trip to Amsterdam and Copenhagen for three days each. When I got home I bought a new car, a first model year Daytona Turbo-Z from Dodge:


When I was a leadership member of DECUS (the Digital Equipment Computer Users Society), I was sent to the European Symposium in Cannes, France, in 1990.

I used to work at ABN Amro Bank, the 8th to 15th largest bank in the world and based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands; I managed a development team for a novel systems integration product, WOLF. We spun off a company called Neogration to sell it and then rolled it back into the Bank after a year (we did sell a couple of licenses and have a patent pending). That team morphed into the North American Enterprise Architecture team. If you want to know more about my professional life, go to my resume.

I had the great opportunity to attend the Leadership Development Program from the Center for Creative Leadership; you can see and read a little about my trip here. I attended the Bank’s leadership training. I never had a chance to attend ITIL training, so I have to be happy with what I learned doing the large IT outsourcing for the bank. I was laid off as part of the purchase of LaSalle Bank by Bank of America in 2007.

I worked for Classmates.com, a major social networking web site. I manage a nine person development and quality assurance team located in Woodland Hills, CA. The home office for Classmates is in Renton, WA, but they are owned by United Online (UOL), and my team is located in the corporate headquarters for UOL. This job came with some interesting challenges, including getting the team more closely involved with the main company in Renton, and managing an office is interesting as well. I was laid off by Classmates as part of a general downsizing of United Online in 2009.

I now work for DirecTV in El Segundo. I manage a team of 6 Java engineers working on the enterprise-wide offer management system.

We have two cars now: one is a Toyota Corolla Matrix – here’s Aviva and Basil next to the car out front of our house. We love our Matrix – it rides like a Toyota Corolla, but has a little more clearance (which is good for the winters in Chicago) and has lots of space inside (we can now haul 9 bags of mulch along with other stuff and have room remaining!) and its got four wheel drive (which we don’t need anymore in LA, but worked great in Chicago when we’d get a foot of snow).


When we moved to the Los Angeles area we bought a Prius, which I love – it gets great gas mileage and feels like a midsize car inside.


Here’s a picture of my mother, me, Aviva and my sister Hart, from left to right (the photo was taken by my bro-in-law Joe with his digital camera):


Here are pictures of my son Nathan:

nathanat13 nathanat14
Nathan at 13 Nathan at 14
nathanat15 nathanat17
Nathan at 15 Nathan at 17
Nathan and I at Aviva’s mom’s house outside Detroit


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