The Lifetime Achievement Award at HerrinFesta Italiana is given annually to an individual who has achieved professional and personal success in their career and made a difference in their community.
Robert T. “Bob” DeFilippis returned to his native Herrin in 2007. He is an author, columnist and blogger with a long and successful career in business management, management consulting and executive coaching.
An 1958 graduate of Herrin High School, he holds a Bachelors of Arts from DePaul University, is a graduate of Advanced Management Institute of Illinois Benedictine University, a four-year course the prototype for Benedictine’s MBA program. He has eight years of guided independent study in the ontology of language and human communications. He did course work and completed his research proposal toward a PhD. He credits his early education at St. Mary’s Grade School in Herrin and Herrin High School as the launching pad that encouraged him to achieve and his lifelong love for learning.
He is a certified ontological coach, studies clinical therapeutic practices in Gestalt psychology and is a Certified Birkman Method consultant and trainer. In his early years he worked in manufacturing management from first level supervision to senior executive level responsibilities for a Fortune 500 Company. He worked as a business executive, organizational development consultant and executive coach to privately and publicly held companies from 1980 to 2003.
He currently services on the Board of Advisors for Dobson Lyle, an Executive Coaching and Assessment company based in London, England.
DeFilippis never grows tired of his interest in people which has been reflected in his lifelong work. He has trained, developed, coached and mentored individuals and teams at all levels – from hourly workers to senior executives. Some of his clients include, Mars, Inc, Nabisco-Lifesavers, Avon, and Pillsbury. Some Utilities are PECO Energy (Philadelphia Electric Company), Northern States Power Company, US Generating Company and telecommunication including AT&T, Illinois Bell Telephone and Advanced Mobil Phone Service – ATT’s original cellular startup company.
His parents, Vittorio and Jennie Janello DeFilippis, lived in Chicago and then moved to southern Illinois. His father came to America on his 18th birthday from Bari, an Adriatic sea coast town, in Italy. His mother was born in DuQuoin. Her parents came from Villa Rosa, Sicily.
His long career in the humanities has been in tandem with his desire to understand people, why they do what they do and using his knowledge to ensure better fits for executives and employees in the work place.
He has four children, Beth and Andy Jarocki, Deerfield, IL, Robyn and John Morgan, Atlanta, Ga, Victor and Kristina DeFilippis, Tigard, Or, and Anthony and Beth DeFilippis, Winston Salem, NC and six grandchildren.
His hobbies include traveling, oil painting, sailing and writing. His writing has become his later in life career. He writes for two Internet blogs, thebigslice.org and OpEdNews.com and is a weekly columnist for The Carbondale Times.
He is the author of three books including a book on a local person, “Flowers Are Talking to Me,” “You Yourself and 20th Century” and “Faith Stirred Not Shaken”.
He values old friendships that have been renewed since he returned to Herrin and finds the beauty and peace of southern Illinois is the right place and right time for him in his retirement years.