Over the past year or two, our Board President, Dr. Bob Fathman, has been interviewing Board and Staff members and sending out these profiles in one of his many e-blasts so that residents can become better acquainted with key management staff and each Board member, starting with the longest serving members. It is now time for a profile of Bob, and the staff thought it fitting if we put together the facts for you.
Bob and his wife, Gina, moved to Muirfield in 1991. They are the parents of 4 “kids”, all adults now, and have 5 grandchildren, ages 9 through 16. The “Dr.” part of the name comes from his degree and profession. After completing an Honors degree in a triple major, Psychology-Economics-Management, at the University of Detroit, Bob was one of 15 applicants out of 500 to be accepted into the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Texas in Austin, where he was awarded a full-ride fellowship. After a year working as a psychologist in a children’s treatment center in Toronto, he took a position as Assistant Director in a Community Mental Health Center in the Hospital in Marysville, and in 1984 began a private practice in Dublin. Now semi-retired, he still sees patients on Tuesday mornings, and is on the medical staff at Riverside Hospital.
Not only is he an expert in facilitating communication for his patients, but here in Muirfield he is the ultimate communicator. Yes, Bob is “that e-mail guy,” keeping everyone in Muirfield up to date on ramp closures, celebrations, community events, Muirfield Design Control approval stats and so much more. And he has been leading our HOA Board, now serving his third year as President, but he also has chaired the Board’s Civic Action Committee for over 15 years. That is the group that took on AEP, filing a formal complaint with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio that forced that electric utility into a 3-year, $14 million project to upgrade the delivery of electricity to Muirfield and surrounding areas. The CAC has also succeeded in working with the City to place the most recent water tower away from Muirfield, getting it near the Bogey, and to kill the idea of a $10 million bridge at the end of Memorial Drive that would have led to significant traffic increases through Muirfield.
In his non-Muirfield life, Dr. Bob has led the way in creating an organization to end school paddling in Ohio and 31 other states. As President of the National Coalition to End Corporal Punishment in Schools, he was called upon to testify in Congress, before legislative committees not just in Ohio but also in Minnesota and Louisiana, and he has appeared on the TODAY Show, CNN Headline News, Anderson Cooper 360 [twice!], a special with Joan Lunden, and he laughs as he admits that he was even on the Jerry Springer Show (before they started throwing chairs)! Many live, call-in radio shows around the country are in his media credits, and he was asked to write an editorial for USA Today, and op-ed pieces for newspapers and magazines in Canada and the U.S. All of these efforts and successes earned him the prestigious Donna J. Stone Award from Prevent Child Abuse America, given annually to the person who had the greatest impact on the issue of child abuse that year. Parenting Magazine gave Dr. Bob their “Friend of Children Award” for these many accomplishments. He was a guest speaker at a conference in Spain, and the Mental Health Association of Ohio named him Volunteer of the Year.” And on the very fun side of things, he helped to write a Spiderman comic book, one with his name inside the cover, which was given away free in every Walmart store in the nation, a million copies!
Always giving of his time to others, he and Gina had volunteered at a Catholic home for children outside Detroit when they were first dating and after they were married, he taught religious ed to developmentally delayed kids near Detroit and later in a couple of classes at a former parish. Many years later they adopted a 12-year-old boy after his single mom died of cancer -- their son, Kevin, now 52.
He does take time for just his own enjoyment. The Fathmans have enjoyed world travel to over 50 countries, Bob is a bike rider, they visit kids and grandkids at Lake Tahoe, California and Lake Lanier, Georgia, and do lots of activities and babysitting with three local grandkids. They are active with the Muirfield Empty Nester groups and host occasional parties for their Muirfield neighbors and friends. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past December, but have no intention of putting the brakes on. Gina is President of the Muirfield Garden Club and is a Eucharistic Minister at St. Brigid; Bob is running for re-election to the Muirfield HOA Board, and was recently invited to join the Board of the Dublin Community Foundation. Travel plans are on hold only because of world health conditions.
Dr. Fathman’s friends and neighbors here sometimes refer to him as “the Mayor of Muirfield Village,” a recognition of his years of involvement in all things Muirfield and Dublin. We are fortunate to have his talents put to use for our residents through his HOA leadership.