Community Programs

2020 Entrepreneur of the Year

Robert "Bob" Stork, Founder and CEO, Communications International

Robert “Bob” Stork, founder and CEO of Communications International, has been named Entrepreneur of the Year for 2020 by the Indian River State College Foundation. 

An industry veteran with a degree in electrical sciences, Stork has spent his career creating designs and delivering essential emergency services for federal, state and local governmental agencies throughout the United States and across the globe. With his late partner Howard Culver, Stork founded Communications of Vero Beach in 1975 and grew it into a leading wireless systems integrator specializing in the design and implementation of mission critical communications systems for the federal, state and local public safety, utility and transit industries. In 1979, the company incorporated as Communications International, Inc. Culver retired in 1982 and Stork, age 32, acquired the business. Headquartered in Vero Beach, Florida, Communications International currently has nine locations throughout the southeast. It is the largest distributor of Harris public safety radio equipment for the southeastern United States.

In 2010, Bob Stork transitioned out of the role of company owner, passing the business on to the people who cared about it most—its employees. Today, Communications International is a 100% employee-owned company and its employee owners share in the success of the business and have the ability to influence its performance through their individual contributions.

Stork is active in numerous community, church, and charitable organizations, and served on the executive board of Florida TaxWatch, a private, non-profit, non-partisan research institute that promotes the productivity and accountability of Florida government. He also serves as Trustee of Florida Polytechnic University. During his career, Stork has served in many key advisory and leadership positions including appointment to the State Governmental Efficiency Task Force by the Senate President, and to the Florida Task Force Initiative on Gang Reduction by the Attorney General. In 2010, he was distinguished as Citizen of the Year by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office in recognition of his caring and compassionate actions for Brevard County’s Children by supporting many Sheriff’s Office initiatives to protect them. He also earned the honor of Special Deputy by the Sheriff of Broward County.

Stork resides in Vero Beach with his wife Carmen. They have two children, Robyn and Ryan, and eight grandchildren.

Stork was honored on Wednesday, February 26, at an award dinner at the Richardson Center, located at Indian River State College Mueller Campus in Vero Beach.

View Event Photos

The Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneurship Program

To promote awareness and appreciation of our free enterprise system, the Indian River State College Foundation, Lambert Foundation, and thirteen other founding members have joined together to create the Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneurship Program. This multi-faceted program is funded through a leadership contribution from the Lambert Foundation in honor of Mr. Dan K. Richardson, former Chairman of the Board of Gracewood Groves, Gracewood Fruit Company, and the Richardson Family Foundation.
Founding members include Mr. Edward W. Easton, Mr. and Mrs. Carter Hopkins, Indian River State College Foundation, Kahle Foundation, Lambert Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Gary W. Lindsey, Judge and Mrs. Robert L. Pegg, Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson E. Peters, Proctor Construction Company, Richardson Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Riley, Mr. Walter E. Smith, Jr., Sorensen Real Estate, Mr. Andrew W. Williams.

The Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneurship Program encourages entrepreneurship through education with community lectures and instructional programs. Each facet of this program supports and reinforces the principles of free enterprise that have made our nation great. Business leaders who have helped to build our community are honored through the annual Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Entrepreneurs of the Year

2020 - Bob Stork, Communications International

2019 - Michael Brown, Harbor Community Bank

2018 - Allen Osteen, East Coast Lumber

2017 - Timothy Girard, Girard Equipment

2016 - Scott Deal, Maverick Boat Group

2015 - Bobby and Marygrace Sexton, Natalie's Orchid Island Juice Company

2014 - Ronald L. Edwards, Evans Properties

2013 - Thomas L. Corr, George E. Warren Corporation

2012 - Jim Coffey, Commercial Realtor and Developer, Earman Oil

2011 - Dr. Richard A. Houghten, Torrey Pines Institute of Molecular Studies

2010 - Alma Lee Loy, Alma Lee's Children's Clothing Center

2009 - Frank "Sonny" W. Williamson, Jr., Williamson Cattle Company

2008 - Vernon D. Smith, Riverside Bank

2007 - Donald C. Proctor, Proctor Construction Company

2006 - Sidney M. Banack, Jr., Sid Banack Insurance

2005 - John J. Schumann, Jr., Press Journal

2004 - Barnette E. and Hariot H. Greene, Greene Groves and Ranch

2003 - Alto "Bud" Adams, Jr., Adams Ranch

2002 - Raymond J. Oglethorpe, America Online

2001 - Robert L. Brackett, Credit Data Services

2000 - Dan K. Richardson, Gracewood Fruit Company

Entrepreneur of the Year Award Nomination

Entrepreneur of the Year Award
We invite you to submit a nomination for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. This award honors outstanding business founders or leaders who exemplify exceptional commitment to the free enterprise system. Recipients have records of community service and "giving back" to the community, have strong leadership skills, and have made a positive impact in both their personal and professional lives. Previous recipients of this prestigous award are listed above. Nominations are accepted throughout the year. The annual Entrepreneur of the Year Award ceremony is held in March.


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