One of Us: Bob Conklin


What can you share about your background? 

I grew up in another ocean community, Newport, Rhode Island, which is the sailing capital of the world. I have strong ties to New England and love being again, so close to the ocean. I am a graduate from the University of Rhode Island and worked for years in the YMCA movement in both Newport and the state capital, Providence.


Your involvement with YMCA dates back to the 70s. How did you initially become involved with the Y?

I was a member of the Y in my youth, all the school athletes went to the Y to play sports and for recreation. When I was 19 years old, they offered me a job and I have worked for the Y movement continuously since that time. I care deeply about the impact the Y makes in the communities that we serve.


Did you come to Ponte Vedra because of the YMCA? Or, what led you to relocating in the Ponte Vedra area?

14 years ago I vacationed in Ponte Vedra, my wife and I fell in love with this community. When I got the opportunity to provide leadership here at the P.V. YMCA I was thrilled. This is a great community that supports what we are doing in Youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.


Tell us about your role at the local YMCA.

I am a vice president of operations for the Florida First Coast YMCA. We have 12 family branches throughout the Jacksonville area. My current duties are, acting executive director at Ponte Vedra and supervision of the Winston and Brooks YMCA executive directors.


What do you like to do when you’re not at work?


Do you use YMCA facilities? (Tell us about that)

Yes, I have the opportunity to use our YMCA facilities every day. What excuse can I give to not work out? We have the best facilities in the First Coast area.  I am a step counter and to get to my goal of 10,000 steps per day I have to work out. The PV Y is a wonderful facility to help our community meet its wellness goals. We have the staff and expertise to get all the community on the right path for health and wellness.


What do you like most about Ponte Vedra?

I live in St. Johns and enjoy the quality of life that we have here in Northeast Florida. The ocean, the beauty and relaxed atmosphere that you get in a beach community is wonderful. Also the local sports, arts, entertainment and concert scene make our area very enjoyable to live in. There is so much to do right here in this area.


What’s one thing even your close circle of friends would be surprised to learn about you?

When I was 10 to 12 years old, I played a drum in a marching band and found out I had rhythm. I am a very serious person and few people know that I love to dance. My wife is a better dancer than I am, and I really enjoy getting her out on the dance floor.


Do you prefer travel or “staycations”?

I love to travel and find the state of Florida to be very enchanting for me. The east coast, the west coast, southern Florida or the Keys -- there is much to do and see in this beautiful state. Certainly I go back to Rhode Island in the summer would never visit in the winter it is too cold.


Would you like to tell us about your family?

I am married to my beautiful wife Colleen and we are empty nesters. I have three grown children; one daughter and two sons. My daughter lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, my sons live in Dallas Texas and Reston Virginia. I have two grandkids in Albuquerque who are 16 and 14 years old.


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