We sat down with Robin Bobocel, 43, the new Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce CEO, to get to know him better.
1. Move to Red Deer
It was a big move for us especially for our children who all they have known is Edmonton. Everyone here has been welcoming and inclusive to our family coming into the community. It’s been a positive experience for us. There’s so much to do in Red Deer. It’s been great for me to become a cheerleader for the community when people ask me how the move has been going. It just really validated why I took this job and it’s making me satisfied that I have taken this job. Whether it’s people welcoming my wife to different events or my children to play different sports, it’s just been positive all around and it makes me want to contribute back to the community.
2. Chamber direction
I want the chamber to be a thought leader in the community in challenging in some of the norms in the community and bring my different perspectives as someone who is just moving into the community and to challenge the traditional way of thinking and doing things. Not to say we have all the answers but if we can challenge people within the community to think differently about some of the challenges that exist and the opportunities that exist then we have done our job here. You are going to start more of the chamber and from the chamber. Some of the things that community is going to like, some of them the community isn’t going to like and that’s OK even if some of the reactions are initially negative and I’m OK with that because that makes people think differently and that’s a vital role the chamber of commerce can play.
3. On wine
My wife and I travel to B.C. on a regular basis to go to Okanagan Valley and pick up our favourite wines and that’s where we find most of our favourite wines. I’m a big fan of Pinot Noir. I will just enjoy a nice glass of wine at the end of the day or on a nice hot day on a patio. We always like to explore different regions whether it’s California or B.C. and learn about businesses and history in the region all centred around wine and I find it brings people together whether it’s at a dinner party or wherever you can always talk about wine.
4. On hockey
I used to play sports long before family and career took over. I would like to get back into it. I used to play rugby quite a bit in Edmonton. I had dreams of being a hockey player late in my career. I guess when I turned 40, I decided I want to be a hockey player. That’s not working out — shockingly. Nonetheless, I hope to get involved in sports in Red Deer. I do follow hockey and football and car racing but I’m an unabashed Edmonton Oilers and Edmonton Eskimos supporter. I know it’s going to disappoint some folks but you can’t get those things out of my DNA. That being said, I do look forward to getting out to some Rebels games. My girls 1 are starting to enjoy hockey and we used to go to some Oil Kings games in Edmonton and a few oilers’ games as well so I promised them we will go to Rebels games as much as we can.
5. Favourite vacation spot
We love to travel. My wife and I travelled even before we were married and we tried to instill that in our kids. Not to say Alberta winters aren’t beautiful but we do like to escape them from time to time. We have traveled to Malibu; we love it there. Palm Springs is another favourite place for us. We honeymooned in Thailand and our children haven’t been there so we are talking about may be taking the girls to Thailand and do a bit of an Asia trip in the next few months. We always look for new adventures generally around warm climate is our favourite thing.
See full interview online.