When Bob was just 14, his father arranged for him to attend a private boarding school. It was a financial sacrifice for the family, but it offered Bob a much better education. So Bob left home for school, offered to work for free for two weeks to prove himself in the campus maintenance department, and got the job.
For the next four years, Bob worked two hours before morning classes; an hour and a half during lunch; two hours after school; and half a day on Saturdays. Even with that work load, Bob did well in school, and competed on the track, soccer and tennis teams. He also was voted class president in his freshman, sophomore and junior year, then Student Body president in his senior year.
During the Vietnam war, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. A combination of circumstances led to him serving Marine barracks duty in London, England, and Bob ended up a sergeant, serving as personal orderly for the Commander of U.S. Naval Activities, U.K. A history buff, Bob loved every minute of his five years in London. During that time, Bob volunteered and earned the ‘globe and laurels’ Green Beret of Royal Marine Commandos, in England; volunteered and earned his Airborne Wings at the German Airborne training facility in Bavaria; then volunteered with the British Royal Army Red Berets. Along the way he got his scuba diving license, and took flying lessons. Gradually, Bob came to realize he could do just about anything, if he was willing to work at it.
With the help of the G.I. Bill, Bob attended California State University, Long Beach, and obtained his Bachelor of Science in Business at night while working full time at the Veterans Affairs office on campus. Upon graduation in 1977 Bob entered the world of financial services. He chose to work with the Pennsylvania Life insurance company, where he learned a great deal about protecting people. His next job taught him estate planning, and he gradually built his expertise at different companies, in helping people solve their financial needs and concerns. Combining his love of education with his desire to help people, Bob studied and obtained his Chartered Financial Consultant and Registered Financial Consultant credentials.
On a personal note, Bob has been happily married for 27 years. His wife, Dona, was a special education teacher for 33 years, helping children with speech and language therapy. Bob is a proud father to Dona’s two children, Derek and Mariah, and together they had a son, Ryan. Derek, now 36, is the firm’s Marketing Director; Mariah, 34, works as a Payroll Specialist; and Ryan, 25, is using his vocal talent to pursue a career in music. A close family, they enjoy spending time together.
On the weekends, Bob and Dona do a 4-mile hike in the hills around their home, and Bob is also an enthusiastic-but-challenged golfer. The couple plans a big trip every year, and have enjoyed traveling to the Chianti wine region, Florence, Rome and Venice in Italy; Vienna and Salzburg, Austria; Istanbul and Bodrum, Turkey, and Madrid, Spain among other places. Next year will find the Donaldson’s heading to Barcelona, where Bob can put his fluent Spanish to work. A history buff, Bob loves to read and recommends “Guns, Germs and Steel” and “How the Scots Invented the Modern World.”