We have lost a dear friend, valued colleague and selfless leader. Bob Bartz passed on Sunday, February 26, 2017. His wife Vicki and son Jason were at his side. Our grief is coupled with the deepest sympathy we have for what Bob's family is feeling. Our hearts and prayers go out to them now and in the very difficult time ahead.
Bob served as President of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce since 1982. His commitment to the Chamber and his love of Manatee County is surpassed only by his love of his family and friends. His legacy will live on in the progress we see around us and in the continuation of the culture of collaboration and problem-solving that he fostered.
His accomplishments during his 35 years as President of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce were innumerable. The Manatee Chamber won multiple state awards, was named the inaugural National Chamber of Commerce of the Year, and became the largest Chamber in the Tampa Bay area. Bob also oversaw the establishment of the Manatee Chamber Foundation. Programs within the Chamber Foundation include: Leadership Manatee, Project TEACH, Real Life 101, The Big Bank Theory, as well as study projects aimed at important quality of life and economic issues.
The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be made to the Manatee Chamber Foundation, PO Box 321, Bradenton, FL 34206-0321.
Bob was immensely proud of the work he did with the Manatee Chamber of Commerce and the Manatee Chamber Foundation. His commitment to the Chamber’s mission was unwavering: "To build a positive business environment while enhancing the community's quality of life." Thank you for your support.