Compassion Stands Out

Bob Enk credits his father for giving him his start in business products, and it is in his father’s memory that Bob has stepped forward to lead the City of Hope Industry Challenge on behalf of the National Business Products Industry.

“My dad worked for the same company throughout his career,” Bob says. “The company was acquired, merged and made its own acquisitions — and he stayed with them through it all, rising through the ranks. When I went home after college, I got a job at the same company as a manufacturer’s representative.”

In 1985, Bob struck out on his own, starting with a small office and small product lines. “I was blessed to recruit the right team,” he says, “and I’ve built strong relationships with many of the companies I’ve represented. I’ve worked with Fellowes and Pentel for 25 years.”

Bob became involved with City of Hope more than 30 years ago. “Some of my company representatives were being honored as Spirit of Life award winners and encouraging others in the industry to take tours of City of Hope,” Bob explains. “After my first tour, I talked with Ron Shaw, chairman of Pilot Pen and a Spirit of Life award winner — and the man who gave me my first big break. I asked him how I could get more involved. That was the beginning of what has been, for me, a 30-year passion for helping City of Hope.”

In that time, Bob estimates he’s toured City of Hope at least 20 times. “I learn something new every time,” he says. “You cannot tour City of Hope without coming away impressed.”

Bob’s commitment to City of Hope deepened when his dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. “My sister and I decided to commit ourselves to memorializing him,” Bob says. That commitment has guided Bob’s continued involvement in City of Hope through the National Business Products Industry — and moved him to lead the Industry Challenge on his industry’s behalf.

“We all want to take care of our family and those close to us as best we can,” he says. “I wanted to include City of Hope, too. It’s the best way I know to find cures for terrible diseases like colon cancer. That’s why I’ve made City of Hope a beneficiary of a percentage of my trust. I want to encourage others to help, too.”

Over the years, Bob has referred literally dozens of friends and colleagues to City of Hope for care. “In addition to the fact that it’s a state-of-the-art facility, the humanity of the staff and the care given to patients really set City of Hope apart,” he says. “I’m proud to call myself a ‘Citizen of Hope,’” the refrain used by individuals who have joined City of Hope in the fight to save lives all over the world. He’s created two badges for himself as part of the Citizens of Hope campaign: “Possibilities” and “Futures.” They capture Bob’s commitment through the National Business Products Industry today — and the promise his estate gift represents for City of Hope’s future.