Chamber award winner tops at 'paying civic rent'

Kathryn Cargo By Kathryn Cargo

Dec. 6, 2017 at 10:27 p.m.
Updated Dec. 7, 2017 at 8:57 a.m.

Victoria Police Chief J.J. Craig, left, presents the Victoria Chamber of Commerce Rotary Outstanding Citizen Award to Robert Loeb, Robert Loeb & Co. owner, right.

Victoria Police Chief J.J. Craig, left, presents the Victoria Chamber of Commerce Rotary Outstanding Citizen Award to Robert Loeb, Robert Loeb & Co. owner, right.   Kathryn Cargo for The Victoria Advocate

Robert Loeb won't be forgotten when he moves to Houston with his wife next spring to be closer to their children.

About 150 businessmen and women and community leaders gave Loeb, owner of Robert Loeb & Co., a standing ovation as he walked to the front of the room Wednesday to accept the Rotary Outstanding Citizen Award at the Victoria Chamber of Commerce 2017 Annual Membership Luncheon.

"My wife and I moved here 40 years ago, and we wanted to move to a town where we could make a difference," Loeb said. "I was raised by my family with the concept of paying civic rent. When you do community work, you're paying civic rent."

Although Loeb and his wife, Margery, are moving, he plans to stay involved and active in the Victoria community, he said.

His commitment to the community is noticed by many.

"His expertise and insights into this community are what drives his passion about it," said chamber president Randy Vivian. "Him still wanting to be a part of our community while living somewhere else is a new perspective on how he can help us."

Loeb moved to Victoria in 1978 with his wife and quickly declared the city his home, Victoria Police Chief J.J. Craig said to the crowd before he presented the award to Loeb.

"This year's recipient flies under the radar, often helping others without any recognition," he said. "He's deeply committed to the Victoria community and believes in community service. He rarely says, 'no,' when asked to do a task or a job."

He's been president or chairman of several Crossroads organizations including Victoria Business Education Coalition, Victoria YMCA, Victoria Regional Museum Association, Victoria Preservation Inc., Victoria Country Club and Victoria Navigation District.

For the country club, Loeb helped lead major renovations in 2006.

He also has the longest serving tenure in the Victoria Navigation District's history.

The award is given to a chamber member who exemplifies the Rotarian model of service above one's self, Craig said.

During 2017, the chamber hosted 22 ribbon cuttings, gained 91 new members and sent 27 companies with about 400 employees through the Victoria Friendly Certified Customer Service Training Program, said Tom Curtis, 2017 chamber chairman.

The chamber wouldn't exist without its members, Vivian said.

"One of the things we rely on is the work of our members," he said. "To be able to recognize a few of our members for the outstanding jobs they've done through the years is something we're proud to do."


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