When the inaugural Robert P. Bartz Award for Outstanding Leadership is presented Jan. 31, it will honor selfless leadership and the memory of the man for whom it is named.
“This is a natural carrying on of Bob’s legacy,” said Jacki Dezelski, president and CEO of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce.
Bartz served as president of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce from 1982 until his death at age 65 in February.
During his tenure, Bartz helped build the chamber to a membership of 2,100 and earn the Florida Chamber of Commerce of the Year award four times. The Manatee Chamber also was named national chamber of the year in 2007.
“Bob was such a humble man. This is one way to bring attention to the type of leader he was,” Dezelski said.
Bartz quietly advocated for quality-of-life issues, such as improving schools and protecting the environment, as a way of growing the Manatee County economy.
His death left Chamber members struggling with a way not only to find a way forward, but also to honor him.
This is a natural carrying on of Bob’s legacy.
Jacki Dezelski, president and CEO of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce
“We were honored that the chamber leadership found it important to create this award,” said Jason Bartz, Bob Bartz’s son, on behalf of the family. “He loved the chamber and Manatee County. This was him to a T.”
The award will be presented during the Chamber’s 55th annual dinner.
“Bob made a significant and meaningful difference in many ways, not because he had to, but because he felt it was the right thing to do. He was not afraid to tackle tough issues if the end result was a better community. He was a selfless leader, preferring to give credit to those around him. Although he did not seek the spotlight, his work in our region made him well-known,” the chamber said in announcing the award.
- Long-term commitment and track record of betterment of the community through positive, selfless leadership.
- Demonstrated community-minded leadership qualities above and beyond what is asked of their vocation.
- Exhibit leadership and vision for the quality of life in Manatee County.
- Live in the community for at least 10 years and have demonstrated a sustained commitment to the business community and quality of life.
- A significant affiliation with the Manatee Chamber of Commerce is a desired attribute.
The deadline for nominations is Dec. 4. Applications are available online at ManateeChamber.com/BartzAward.