Have You Met Robert W. Burghart? “I absolutely love animals!” declares Robert Burghart. “I always had cats and dogs as a kid, so volunteering with Gabriel’s Angels has been a really good fit for me. My female boxer Murry, who will be two on St. Patrick’s Day, makes my life enjoyable, and I want to extend that into helping the community.” Robert is a young leader for the next generation of nonprofit volunteers in the area. The dogs and owners who volunteer with Gabriel’s Angels offer unconditional friendship, teach empathy, respect and trust to abused and at-risk children in the Phoenix metropolitan area and Tucson. Gabriel's Angels' mission is to deliver healing pet therapy to abused, neglected and at-risk children, encouraging their ability to love and trust, and by that help free them from the cycle of violence. And as Robert adds, “It would be a lonely life without a dog!” He reports, “ Presently, I am the Vice Chairman of the Board for Gabriel’s Angels and will be the Chairman of the Board for 2008-2009. And in addition to Board Leadership, I also co-chair the Board Development Committee and am a member of the Fund Development Committee. I became part of Gabriel’s Angels after I met Pam Gaber and was simply drawn in by her passion for the organization!” Bob has been in Arizona since 1995, when he relocated to Arizona from Chicago to attend Arizona State University and later the University of Phoenix. “ I grew up in Chicago, Illinois. I admit I was the class clown in school- I love to make people laugh! But in my second year of college I realized there was a lot that could be done with an education. So I’ve even gone on to get my MBA from the WP Carey School at ASU. I also have a background in law enforcement. I worked my way through college by working for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.” After college Bob was drawn to the financial services industry, and today is the Branch Manager, First Vice President of Investments at Wachovia Securities. The diverse background of law enforcement, general business and community involvement makes Bob a great fit for Gabriel’s Angels Board Leadership. Describing Phoenix, Bob laughs, “I like to say that we’re not a melting pot, here, but a salad bowl! Our population is so diverse, we’ve got such an interesting mix of people, but a group that has managed to maintain their own cultures rather than just melting together.” He continues, “Outside of work, I am not good at leisure activities. I work a lot and basically my life can be defined as work/volunteer/work, with a little fun mixed in between all.” The latest exciting endeavor for Burghart is his development of a new restaurant and night club, called the Lyte Lounge & Bistro. “It’s always been a dream of mine to own and operate a restaurant and nightclub! The timing seems to be just right now. As an investor I did a lot of research on the area and the opportunity and things just started to come together. Our location is in Old Town Scottsdale, and our focus will be on high-end service and a high-end menu that will also include healthy choices. The menu will be Tapas style and feature some great fusion ideas our chef came up with. Once dinner service is over, we will entertain our guests with DJ’s and live music.” Part of the new wave of young, Phoenix volunteers, Robert W. Burghart concludes, “My philosophy towards life is only worry about what you can control. One of my favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou ‘If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.’ That philosophy has given me the ability to roll with the punches and make the best of the situations I face.” What are your volunteer activities? Presently, I am the Vice Chairman of the Board for Gabriel’s Angels and will be the Chairman of the Board for 2008-2009. In addition to Board Leadership, I am also co-chair the Board Development Committee and am a member of the Fund Development Committee. In the past, I have served on the Board of Directors for Arizona Theaterworks and have been a member of the Peoria Diamond Club. Which social event is your favorite? I enjoy attending most events provided there is a good long-term cause for the event. Some of my favorite events in the past have been the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Salute to Summer and Peoria Diamond Club's Cosmic Casino. I have a lot of fun with the silent auctions and also the live auctions at these events, and greatly enjoy getting to know other philanthropic individuals that attend these types of events. Beyond these, I have always enjoyed attending Uncorked and Unplugged for the Boys and Girls Club. Favorite Restaurant? My favorite restaurant of all time is Portillo's in Chicago. But, I am not able to go back there too often, so when I really want a great meal locally I usually find myself at Un Bacio in Scottsdale. It is close to my office which makes it very convenient for business lunches and dinners. Plus, the service and food are phenomenal! Who is your hero and why? My mother is my hero. Like many children my age, my parents divorced when I was young. My father was in Arizona while my sister and I grew up in Chicago with my mother. As a result, my mother was a single mother of two young children but still found the strength and internal desire to move forward. She worked her way through nursing school and became a registered nurse. She spent her life working for those around her. Her spirit to give back through nursing is where my roots of public service began and her diligence to get on her feet and provide us with everything we needed is where my sister and I developed our work ethic. Shortly after I moved to Arizona in 1995, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a challenging time for our family, but it also pulled us together at the same time. Even though she was facing a life-changing event, she focused on keeping us smiling and a family. Today, she has made a full recovery and lives with my "dad" (stepdad) here in Arizona. She is still working as a registered nurse doing in-home health care. Who is the most interesting celebrity you have ever met? Probably Mike Tyson. It was when I was working for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and he was doing a visit and speech at Tent City. I was assigned to surveillance and protection for him and Sheriff Arpaio and I thought it was kind of funny that I was supposed to protect someone who could knock me out with one punch. If your life were a movie, whom would you want to play your part? Brad Pitt or George Clooney. I would want all the women to think I was as good-looking as them! What gives a woman/man style? I define style as more than the clothing someone wears or the way they part their hair. Style comes from what you are trying to accomplish with your appearance and actions. Do you have any Pets? Murry is my Boxer. She (yes, a girl dog with a boy’s name) will be two years old on St. Patrick's Day 2008. Although I am now on my third couch since she was a puppy, and countless pairs of shoes, she is a very sweet dog that loves to cuddle up and provide affection. When you move, what will your home tell its next owner, about you? My home tells people I enjoy entertaining. The design of my home lends to having backyard BBQ's and listening to music with friends around the fireplace. What words describe you best? I would hope it is generous. I have been fortunate in my life and I enjoy sharing with others. I like to be generous with my time and my feelings. I greatly enjoy helping people reach their dreams and create new ones. What words would you like others to use to describe you? Funny, helpful and a friend. I LOVE making people laugh, I love helping people in need and I think these two traits combined form the true meaning of a friend. What was your first job? My first job was working at a shoe repair in a mall in suburban Chicago. I mostly ran the cash register and did some cleanup, but it was a great place to do homework and talk to friends I worked with. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Deplore is a strong word! I think I am a little hard on myself sometimes. I expect a lot from myself and it makes it very difficult for me to relax. I really need to find better routes for relaxing. What is the trait you most deplore in others? I have no tolerance for dishonesty. Trust is the most important trait in people and when someone is not honest, it is very difficult to rebuild trust. What is your greatest indulgence? PIZZA! I am still trying to convince myself it has all the food groups and is therefore the best thing for you! What is the greatest gift you have ever given and received? The best gift I ever received was a scrapbook my mom and dad made for me when I graduated with my Masters Degree. It had everything from my baby book, report cards as a kid, letters from camp, my career with the Sheriff's Office up through college. It was so amazing that she had kept everything and spent the time making it that on the way home from receiving it I went out and bought a fireproof safe just for it! What she did not realize was that holiday season I gave her a ton of materials to make scrap books! What or who is the greatest love of your life? Family and friends are the greatest things in the world to me. Being there for them, having them there for me and knowing the bonds you form with those special people that can never be broken. What is your current state of mind? Busy! I have a lot on my plate with my career at Wachovia Securities, my duties with the community and my recent venture into the restaurant/night-club industry. It seems I have a lot to accomplish which keeps my busy, but also driven. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Graduating with a Masters in Business Administration. I was not the best student as a child! I remember telling my mom I was sick so I could miss school (doesn't work with a mom who is a nurse), then getting to school and going to the nurses office and pretending I was sick to be sent home :) All throughout high-school, I just wanted to get by and get done. It was not until the second year of college I realized there was a lot that can be done with an education if you engaged in actively learning. As a result, I went from the class clown who did not want to go to school, to a successful businessperson with a graduate degree. What is your most treasured possession? The scrapbook I was given when I graduated. I look at it whenever I feel down or alone. What is the quality you most like in people? Sense of humor. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff or worry about things you can not control. I like to see people who are able to let things roll off their shoulders. Favorite books / Writers? Not really into fiction or recreational reading. Most of what I read is industry publications or news periodicals. What is the best advice you have ever received? Think before you speak!