After becoming a “Double Domer” at Notre Dame, Bob worked with Price Waterhouse for eight years in Chicago where he met his wife, Grace. Bob then moved to Chamberlain Manufacturing Co, where he was Corporate Controller, during which time they had their first two sons, John and Kevin.
Grace and Bob discovered weather around that time, and when the opportunity presented itself, they moved to Southern California in 1980, where Bob worked for National Education Corp., first as Corporate Controller, and then as the Group President. During that time, Sharon and Brian came into the world as native Californians.
Bob began to become more entrepreneurial after NEC, starting and selling a business in financial consultancy, putting together partnerships that bought some 700 apartments in two different time phases, co-founding an education company that peaked at $2 billion in revenues, and becoming Chairman and CEO of MSB (now owned by Corelogic) that effectively operated as an ESOP, returning some $70 million to the fabulous staff that brought it to the great successes it achieved.
In recent years, Bob has worked with a number of PE firms, most notably Genstar, BV Investment Partners and Flexpoint Ford to help identify and manage their portfolio companies. He has also become more active in startups and angel capital, and currently sits on the boards of about eight companies, plus serves on the advisory boards of The Mendoza Business School of Notre Dame, Providence Speech & Hearing in Orange County, and the Saddleback Kidney Advocacy Group.
Grace and Bob have been married 42 years. After their four children went away to college (one to Duke and three to Notre Dame as undergrads; one to UCLA and one to Barcelona for MBA’s), and spent some time in parts unknown after college, they are all back in SoCal, along with Ethan, Anna and Noa Dowdell, their three grandkids.
Grace and Bob can be found grandkid sitting, golfing, traveling, and going to various churches depending on where one of their kids is playing/singing that week.
Bob can also be found at the Coyote Grill in south Laguna, where he has numerous mentoring sessions, or the Corner Bakery in downtown Chicago doing the same. Grace is often working with various charities; the most frequent is the Assistance League of Tustin.
Having been in the final stages of kidney failure in 2015, Bob was extremely fortunate to have received a transplant from Jack Zita, a coworker at MSB, in early 2016. The gift and the recovery were both absolutely amazing.
Bob, Grace, John, Kevin, Molly, Sharon and Brian all wish to thank the Father’s Day Council for this recognition, and our family, friends and business colleagues for their support of this event and the American Diabetes Association. Most importantly, the Dowdell family thanks God for this gift -- He being the giver of every good and perfect gift.