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Bob Svatos

Bob Svatos

President, COO | The ConAm Group | Class of 1979

These are a few of Bob Svatos’ favorite things:

— A place: “The Union building on the weekend nights. My girlfriend then, wife now, and I would go to whatever trivia or bingo contests they were having so we could have a cheap night out.”

— A bar memory: “Attending Second Chance soaking wet in January 1979 in nothing other than my underwear courtesy of my Acacia brothers’ tradition when they found out Ellen and I had gotten engaged during Christmas break of our senior year.”

— A professor: “The first I give credit to is Morley Lemon, who taught Financial Accounting 101. I took it second semester of my first year. Took it with a lot of non-accounting majors.

“He pulled me aside one day after class asking if I’d consider accounting for my major. I was taking it second semester when the accounting majors took it first semester sophomore year. I explained to him I’d come into the university as an accounting major with AP credits basically as a sophomore, really wanted to finish in three years to save my folks tuition money, but my advisor wouldn’t let me take it in my first semester at U of I.   

“He told me to do whatever I could to get back on the same track with the rest of the accounting majors so I’d have future classes with the accounting majors. So I took the introductory cost accounting class that summer at night at a junior college and got back on track at the beginning of my second year with the other accounting majors taking 208.

“That’s a long story to explain the lesson that Professor Lemon taught me about how helpful it can be to reach out to others and see if they need some advice when they appear to be off track.”

— A professor, part 2: “Of course, Professor (Kenneth) Perry would be mentioned by most accounting majors of my era.  His classic line — ‘Don’t fight the problem, do it the easy way’ — was great advice not only for the CPA exam but for a career of problem solving.”

Also, “a young TA in freshman rhetoric — last name Frooman, I think — taught me to write and to enjoy writing well. That’s been an invaluable skill, whether at work or in crafting tributes for dear friends.”