Born in Seattle, Washington, Robert is a graduate of the University of Washington with a BA in Business Administration. He first came to the Big Island in the mid 1970s and immediately fell in love with the beauty of the island and its people. He began a nursery and landscaping business that took his talents to many of the islands in the Hawaiian chain. An entrepreneur in his own right, he started one of the first palm nurseries on Hawaii Island and served as an active member of the International Palm Society.
In 1981, Bob developed an interest in real estate and quickly became a top sales agent. In 1988, he decided to start his own real estate company, Orchid Isle Properties, Inc. He rapidly rose to become one of the leading real estate agents in East Hawaii. His firm grew with him and in 1993 C. Brewer and Company, Ltd. (one of Hawaii’s oldest corporations) saw in him the experience, commitment and integrity they needed for marketing their extensive land holdings. They signed a contract with him as their exclusive broker, a relationship that lasted until 2002 when C. Brewer and Company was liquidated. Over time Robert also became C. Brewer’s consultant for development projects and worked on Maui as well as Hawaii Island. Not resting on his laurels, Robert affiliated with Prudential Real Estate from 1996 through 2013. During that time, Prudential Orchid Isle Properties consistently ranked as one of the leading real estate offices on Hawaii Island, often ranking number one for unit sales per office. In 2011, Prudential Insurance sold the real estate franchise business and in 2013, with the Prudential contract ending, Robert seized the opportunity to merge with Clark Realty Corporation.
Robert’s accomplishments are many. He served on the Governor of Hawaii’s Economic Revitalization Task Force. He also served on the Government Affairs Committee for the Hawaii Island Board of Realtors (HIBR). During that time he co-authored two bills related to defects in the Owner Builder law. Both bills became law in the same year as introduction, a feat former Governor Linda Lingle called “amazing." Robert is also a 3 time winner of the Ho’oula Award (Hawaii’s 50 fastest growing companies). While affiliated with Prudential, he won the coveted “Legend Award” and his company won Round Table and Cornerstone Awards.
Additionally to his credit, he was President of the Hawaii Island Board of Realtors in 1993 , Realtor of the Year in 1994, a Director of HIBR for six years and a Trustee of RPAC for four years. Currently he is serving on the Governor’s Banyan Drive Task Force which is working on a Master Plan for Hilo’s resort area on Banyan Drive.
Bob is an active community member and most recently served as President of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce 2007/2008. He is also a member of both the Japanese and Portuguese Chambers of Commerce. Bob and his wife Syleste reside on the Big Island's Hilo-Hamakua Coast, where Bob spends much of his free time landscaping his own 4.5 acre property. He is also an avid golfer and he says he enjoys the beauty of Hawaii’s courses as much as the game itself. Robert has proven repeatedly that his word is as good as gold--he is someone you can trust with a handshake.