Publix Patriots: US Navy Commander to Vice President of Facilities

ByAllison L. May 19, 2021
Publix with American flag

Did you know we were named one of Forbes’ best employers for veterans? At Publix, we are proud to be recognized for the outstanding work our military veterans do each day. In our Publix Patriots series, we learn about the career paths of our military veteran associates and how the skills they gained while serving our country helped them find a career with us. This month, we learn from a U.S. Navy veteran.

Meet Bob, Vice President of Facilities.

Bob spent 24 years in the U.S. Navy learning and developing skills that he uses in his career with Publix today! After retiring as a commander assigned as a public works officer at Yorktown Naval Weapons Station in 2004, he became interested in real estate development.

“I was very interested in the fast-paced construction that typifies traditional retail development and all the deal-making aspects of the commercial real estate industry,” Bob shared.

At the time of his retirement from the military, the real estate development market was booming. Bob and his family packed up their belongings in Virginia and moved to Tampa, Florida, where he joined a development firm.

“I was fortunate to work for a developer that specialized in Publix-anchored shopping centers.”

Bob spent eight years working with the development firm, which ultimately gave him great exposure to the Publix culture and its associates. It was during his time as a real estate developer that he realized he wanted to start a career with Publix.

Bob, Vice President of Facilities

“I was impressed with the caliber and integrity of the Publix associates I met while working alongside them at the development firm,” Bob said. “Naturally, when the opportunity presented itself to join the Publix team, I jumped at the chance.”

In 2012, Bob joined Publix as the director of construction and is now the vice president of facilities.

How Bob’s military background helped him at Publix.

Bob learned many skills while serving in the U.S. Navy that he still uses in his role today. Leadership, goal setting and clear communication helped him continue to grow and succeed in his career. But perhaps one of the most important skills he learned in the military was teamwork.

“The military taught and instilled the value of teamwork,” Bob shared. “Teamwork is the essence of our CEO’s “One Publix” message.”

“One Publix, One Purpose” is a message that reflects the teamwork of Publix associates coming together to care for each other and our customers.

If you’re a military veteran interested in a career with Publix, Bob suggests relating the skills learned in the military to any position offered at Publix and highlighting those skills within your application.

He told us, “Without the skills learned and the experiences I had in the military, I would not have a Publix career. I am very grateful for both. Don’t give up if you don’t get selected the first time you apply. Instead, try, try and try again.”

Bob in formal military uniform

Publix offers many career opportunities in retailcorporatepharmacyinformation technologydistributionmanufacturing and industrial maintenance. Follow our Publix Patriots LinkedIn for more military veteran stories. Connect with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn to learn more about what makes Publix a great place to work!

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