“I hope that we can really be a key cog in spearheading change. And that means improving access to change, like access to food, medicine, doctors, transportation, education and housing.”

Robert C. Roberts

A 35-year career with the same company he’s worked for since college has given Bob Roberts a deep appreciation for the value of place.

“I went to work for First Citizens Bank and Trust right after I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill,” says Bob. “I thought I would do that for a couple of years, but now I’m in my 35th year with the same company, overseeing operations in parts of four states as Regional Executive Vice President.”

Though his duties extend far and wide, Bob confesses he’s developed an abiding love for Western North Carolina.

“The people here really mean a lot to me,” says Bob, “and helping change the direction of health in Western North Carolina is very important to me.”

Today Bob resides in Buncombe County with his wife and three children, but he’s previously lived in three other Western North Carolina counties. He’s been active in all those communities, serving such organizations as Eblen Charities, A-B Tech Foundation, North Carolina Community Foundation of Cherokee County, YMCA of Western North Carolina, Salvation Army, the Economic Development Coalition, and the United Way organizations for Transylvania County, Cherokee County, Canton and Asheville & Buncombe County.

“I’ve seen firsthand that in some of the outlying areas, people just don’t have the same opportunities because the infrastructure is not in place,” said Bob. “We have a real opportunity to make a difference and our duty is to ensure that we’re focused on the right things.”