Bob Meals of The Shipley School Receives 
2023 PAISBOA Service
to the Flock Award

May 3, 2023 - PAISBOA's Service to the Flock Award, instituted in 2021, recognizes a member who has demonstrated excellence in their service to the PAISBOA flock. Through their exemplary professionalism and achievements, they have supported their colleagues while advancing the mission and goals of PAISBOA.

Bob Meals, Director of Physical Plant / Director of Security at The Shipley School, has been named the 2023 recipient of the Service to the Flock Award.

Bob (pictured at right with PAISBOA Board Chair Carolyn Hapeman) has been an impassioned advocate for PAISBOA for almost as long as the association has been in existence. “I first got involved when Gil Smith, former Plant Manager at Shipley, and (former PAISBOA Associate Director) Al Greenough spearheaded the Plant & Facilities Managers Group,” he said. “Their intention was to help educate other Plant Managers at our schools, and get them to better understand the concepts of group purchasing, and to recognize the value of effective vendor management.”

Getting into that group on the ground floor was important to Bob. “Guys like Pete Crippen, Hal Davidow, Frank Aloise, Adam Wojtelwicz, and Tom McDaniel believed in PAISBOA from the beginning and were very influential,” he said. “They were mentors to me and they gave value to what PAISBOA was trying to do. That was a very important lesson.”

He’s taken that mentor concept from student to teacher, and for many years now has served – and still serves – as a mentor to many of his colleagues at Shipley as well as at other institutions. “Bob has always encouraged new facilities and security personnel to get involved with PAISBOA because it works, and it’s important that they feel supported,” said Tom McDaniel, former Director of Facilities and Campus Safety at Friends’ Central School. “That’s something we always strived for with the Plant Managers group.”

“It’s so great working with Bob!” said Read DeSabato, Director of Facilities at Friends Select School. “He’s always willing to help out and find a way to make something work for both our institutions. We’re competitors in some respects, but Bob never makes it feel that way. It’s like he’s on your side, and we’re very lucky to have him on the PAISBOA team. He is very deserving of this honor and I am very excited for him.”

The idea of mentoring is an offshoot of his desire to give back to his community. In addition to ‘giving back’ to PAISBOA, Bob is a volunteer firefighter and serves on the Board of Directors of the Bryn Mawr Fire Company, and is a “special police officer” for Pike County, where he spends many weekends and much of his ‘free’ time.

Bob has hosted many PAISBOA events at Shipley over the years for the Purchasing Consortium, Plant & Facilities, Technology Group, Sustainability Group, and more. He has served and still serves as a mentor to many of his colleagues at Shipley as well as at other institutions. “It’s important to share the idea that PAISBOA gives us the opportunity to connect with vendors and take advantage of the resources they have to offer. We encourage everyone to try it because it works!’ he added.

“When it comes to Bob Meals, there aren’t enough words (and certainly not enough time) to express how wonderful a person, friend, and colleague he is. Bob is a loyal, dedicated, honest, compassionate person in every area of his life, and at Shipley, he is truly invaluable,” said Jayme Karolyi, Interim Chief Financial Officer at Shipley. “His breadth of knowledge and willingness to share it is not only admirable, but any recipient of his insight is beyond fortunate. He’s not only helped make Shipley the amazing school it is (inside and out), but he is always willing and available to help.”

At home, Bob enjoys playing golf, fine dining, and spending time with his two daughters – one of whom works for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the other a nurse at Abington Hospital – and his son, a Villanova engineering student.

Added Jayme Karolyi, “There is always an honest, genuine, and experienced reason behind everything he does and every answer he gives. As I prepare to move on to a new venture, I can honestly say I will miss Bob dearly, not only as a friend, but him as an incomparable colleague. There is nothing he wouldn’t do for PAISBOA, for Shipley, for his friends, or for his family and it is evident in everything he does. He will never know how grateful I am to have worked with him, learned from him, and leaned on him for over two decades. Simply stated, he is just awesome. Congratulations to my friend and colleague! 

We wholeheartedly share in those sentiments and congratulate Bob Meals, our 2023 Service to the Flock Award recipient!