“Vision, Leadership, Experience”
Former member of the Doral City Council and Vice Mayor; High Level Business and Management professional with Executive Leadership experience; Commercial real estate expert, Vietnam Veteran, father and husband.
By Grecia Romero.
Life of success and hard work
Robert Van Name was born on Staten Island, New York and lived all his childhood and teen years in New Jersey. His father died when he was very young having to assume his father’s role at the age of 11 with two younger brothers and a sister. That experience made Robert see things in a much more mature way than other young people at that time since his family had limited economic resources. He married his high school sweetheart and continued his studies at New York Tech where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors Degree in Business and Management. He then pursued graduate studies at the University of Michigan and AT&T University in their Executive Leadership Programs and National Real Estate Standards Property Management Program.
Van Name’s career is very interesting: Vision, leadership, and accomplishments are words that come to life when listening to Robert talking about his professional experience. He served in the United States Navy for 13 years of combined active and reserve duty and retired with an Honorable Discharge; he served in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970 and later built a successful career of 33 years as a high level executive with a background in finance and corporate real estate management at AT&T and Lucent Technologies from which he retired in 2001.
During all those years, Robert has always been a leader, a very competitive professional and a result-oriented businessman. He speaks of himself proudly for knowing how to turn challenges into opportunities. Looking at the full picture but not missing the smallest details made the difference in his high quality work. He led regional responsibilities which later took him abroad being responsible for the Caribbean and Latin America Countries, South Florida and Canada. He has been in favor of the diversity of cultures and it has allowed him to build very good relationships and bond with people from different countries and backgrounds.
Robert moved to Doral 15 years ago with his wife and two sons, in fact they were one of the first families to live in Doral Isles at that time. After his retirement, Van Name saw the need to get involved in his community and before realizing it, he and other well-known friends were taking the initiative to solve very important issues in his neighborhood. One of the first things he remembers with great excitement is how the Little League Baseball of Doral started. “All of it was a labor of love” as he calls it. “Hundreds of kids playing baseball in the little field of Doral Isles thanks to the kindness of an open community.”
His community involvement was growing as it was his hard work reputation. Once the City of Doral was finally incorporated, Robert was ready to run for a seat at the council as he considered public service “was all about giving back”. He wanted to give back for a great life and wonderful family he has enjoyed. He is a very sensitive and spiritual man and just wanted to use his talents in favor of others. The opportunity came when he was elected to serve Doral as Council Member and Vice Mayor directly responsible for planning, leading and creating many programs that continue to run in the city. “When we look back and see what we were just 9 years ago and compare it with what we are today, the progress has been tremendous,” he proudly says.
After his term in the Council finished, Van Name continued to be involved in the City activities and has being managing his Real Estate Consulting Services Company.
Running for Council for the Third Time
As per Robert’s perspective: “Doral is now at a critical crossroad in its political life. 80% of the existing council is on election and that really concerns me.” His tone of his voice changes when he honestly opens his heart to talk about what Doral means to him: “I see Doral as a special place for families and communities, a place where great businesses can take place and make of this city one of the best, but it all depends on the decisions we make”.
Although running for Mayor was also an option, Robert decided to run for Council member instead. At this stage of his career his family is a very important priority, therefore, he discussed with his wife where the appropriate place for him to contribute with the city would be, being able to give the best quality of his work and commitment and still being able to spend time with his family. From his past experience at the Council he is determined to continue being very active taking part in the future of the City, working as a key role player but giving the opportunity to someone else to take the lead on the Mayor position.
Action plan for the future
Robert has very detailed strategic priorities, but his main concern is the future of the City. He is aware of the growth of Doral which is why in his plans he continues to take into consideration effectiveness and efficiency in the budget of the city, traffic, transportation, parks and recreation, green environments, culture, business and very importantly, family and children that he considers “pure love, the future”. Again, his human side is out there with great tenacity as per her wife’s words, “When he is focused on something he works hard until he gets it done.”
That is the motto of his plans so he will continue to live by integrity and respect with God by his side. “When somebody else was fearful I was not,” he says. He has an inner voice guiding him with the right reasons. He has always taken an active role in the community as one who proposes programs with solutions instead of just complaining.
He makes emphasis when he states that this is the most important election at this time in our city and very respectfully encourages everybody to take action by showing up to vote.