Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” This is certainly the case for Bob Fox, who made his living by founding NewSpace Closet Interiors in 1984. But if you ask Bob what he does for a living, or what he does with his time, this is probably not the first thing he mentions.
A native St. Louisan, Bob deeply believes in the St. Louis community, and devotes his time to making it a better place to live. Bob saw many immigrants in the St. Louis community and related to their stories. In 2010, he responded to a need in the community by founding and serving as the board chair of Casa de Salud, a not-for-profit health and wellness center that welcomes new immigrants out of isolation and into the community’s embrace – now supporting more than 12,000 patient visits annually.
Because of his work with the immigrant community, he was integral in establishing and still serves with the St. Louis Mosaic Project, which raises awareness of the positive economic development outcomes created by being a welcoming community for the foreign-born. As Mosaic Project Executive Director Betsy Cohen notes, “Bob Fox is a visionary and persistent leader who puts his time and resources to work on key issues that will make St. Louis thrive. He sees the need to serve and steps up even when it is not popular or applauded.”
Bob and his wife Maxine Clark share a passion for education, as founding sponsors for Teach For America in the St. Louis region and of the first KIPP charter schools in the area. Bob is also the founding chair of inspireSTL, which empowers high potential, under served middle school students with preparation and access to the finest high schools in the region, ultimately mentoring them through high school and college.
Bob is a founding member of Washington University’s Gephardt Institute for Public Service National Council where he personally mentors both Civic Scholars and Goldman Fellows. Over the years Bob has won numerous awards for his service to the community, but of equal importance to him are the mentor relationships he has built with students.
Grace Chao, a Harvard Medical School student, and Civic Scholar alumna, says, “Mr. Fox’s genuine love for what he does inspires me to do the same. His compassion for others is seen in everything he does. He has truly touched my life and modeled for me what it means to be a citizen of my community, city, country, and the world.”