Bright Idea

Building a business is one thing. Building an entire billion-dollar industry is another. Meet Bob Goergen, an entrepreneur who burns the candle at both ends



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Beyond Business

A Greenwich resident since 1977, Goergen found the town convivial to his family, especially a shared love for sports. He sent Rob and Todd to Brunswick and played tennis with them at the Belle Haven Club. Rob even joined the ATP Tour before following his father’s footsteps in business; he calls his father “a work-hard, play-hard guy.”

“[The kids] got a golf course, tennis courts, a great school system,” Bob says. “They got everything here. It’s terrific.”

For years, Goergen didn’t experience a lot of Greenwich firsthand. He spent more time on airplanes, jetting from Chicago to Oshkosh to Texarkana to look over his various holdings in and outside of Blyth. He calls himself an “operating investor,” as opposed to a passive one. A favorite maxim encapsulates his philosophy on that front: “The best fertilizer is the footprint of a farmer.”

The same idea extends to his other interests. He takes an active part managing his charitable pursuits, whether it be sitting on the boards of his two alma maters, the University of Rochester and Wharton, both of which have reaped the rewards of extending full scholarships to a poor kid from Buffalo many times over, or developing an intensive entrepreneurial program at the latter institution.

There are also art trips to places like Buenos Aires and Berlin. Art is a shared passion for Pam and Bob, something Goergen says has taken the place of tennis as his leg joints have begun to complain. Their collecting tends to be in contemporary art, with a strong focus on sculpture.

“I like sculptures because they are tactile, three-dimensional,” Goergen says. “Sculptures you can touch, paintings you can’t. We’ve got a good balance between paintings and sculpture.”

Pam notes the couple relies on no art adviser, making their own buying decisions. “Ninety percent of the time, we like the same piece,” she says. “We can be walking different parts of the same gallery, and when we meet, we have the same pieces in mind.”

Neither Goergen will talk specifics about their art collection, except that it involves both an outdoor and indoor gallery at their backcountry Greenwich home. Peter Sutton, the Bruce’s CEO, calls the Goergens “generous” both with their collection and their time. The couple supports the Bruce’s annual Icon Awards, to be held this year at Conyers Farm on May 22, and sponsors an ongoing lecture series on subjects like Connecticut impressionism.

“There’s nobody better to have in your corner than Bob,” Sutton says. “He’s wonderfully outgoing and infectiously enthusiastic.”

With all the success of Goergen’s life, one field of endeavor seems beyond his capabilities: retirement. He tried it once in 1986 for what he says was three months.

“It was never three months,” Pam asserts. “More like six weeks. He can’t sit still. He can’t. For some people, retiring means not commuting into New York. But he’s never done that. He’s always had so many other activities, in addition to Blyth.”

Though Pam says she wishes he would take time to smell the roses, Bob prefers to keep his candles burning at as many ends as he can manage.

“I’m not satisfied working forty hours a week,” he says. “When I went to the University of Rochester as a freshman, one of the first things I saw was the college motto, Meliora; it’s Latin for ‘always improving,’ and I thought that was terrific. It’s about never being satisfied with the status quo. I believe that should be true for everybody, whether you want to study more, write better, run faster, whatever it is.”      

 

Greenwich Agenda

  • SAT & ACT Prep Classes

    2014.08.02
     @ Greenwich Education Group

    If you are planning on taking the SAT or the ACT in October or November, this is an ideal time to start your preparation! Once school begins,...

  • Seaside Center: Shoreline Seining and Plankton Tow

    2014.07.20
     @ Seaside Center

    Help us gather plankton and see what creatures are living in our ocean’s water! Examine microscopic organisms caught in our plankton net...

  • Cool and Collected ‘14

    2014.07.10
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    (Gallery 1) Featuring artists:  Carla Goldberg, Melanie Kozol, Francis Sills, and Eve Stockton Summer exhibition at Kenise Barnes...

  • Summer Vacation Day Programs- Grades K-6

    2014.08.18
     @ Stamford JCC

    Monday August 18 To Friday August 22, 8am – 6pm Monday-Baking a Mitzvah Tuesday-Scavenger Hunt Wednesday- Ice Cream Craze....

  • TREEHOUSES: Look Who's Living in the Trees!

    2014.06.21
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Saturday, June 21 - Monday, September 1 Hidden in the leaves, snug in the trunk or burrowed under the roots, what types of animals actually...

  • Exhibit: Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing | Greenwich, CT

    2014.05.03
     @ Bruce Museum

    May 3 – August 31, 2014 Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing This exhibition focuses on two of the world’s leading...

  • Seaside Center: Seaweed Pressing

    2014.07.18
     @ Seaside Center

    Look at the different seaweeds around Greenwich Point and learn about their role in the marine ecosystem. We will end with a seaweed pressing...

  • Seaside Center: Arts and Crafts

    2014.07.18
     @ Seaside Center

    Let your creativity float free! Practice the art of Gyotaku fish prints; make a sundial, a shell wind chime, or fish bowl! Activities vary every...

  • Vals Free Weekly In-Store Wine Tasting | Greenwich, CT

    2014.05.09
     @ Val's Putnam Wine And Liquors

    Each Friday we feature new wines just released and new to market for you to have an opportunity to taste and learn about through our sponsored...

  • Wine Time Social Hour | Greenwich, CT

    2014.01.27
     @ Barcelona Greenwich

    $4.00 select wines, $4.00 well drinks, and $3.00 beers.

  • Happy Hour | Greenwich, CT

    2014.01.26
     @ Morello Italian Bistro

    Refresh yourself with our famous Red & White Sangria! Don’t forget that during happy hour every day 4:30pm-6:30pm your 2nd drink...

  • Seaside Center: Story Time

    2014.07.19
     @ Seaside Center

    Grab a comfy seat as we read stories about our favorite sea creatures. We will even take a peek at a real-life version of the animal in our...

  • Saturday Vals Free Weekly In-Store Wine Tasting | Greenwich, CT

    2014.05.10
     @ Val's Putnam Wine And Liquors

    We will feature an array of new and different International wines that are selected by our staff as “Staff Picks Favorites” in...

  • Seaside Center: Naturalist's Choice

    2014.07.19
     @ Seaside Center

    Be surprised! Changing topic that is fun and fascinating, selected by the Naturalist!

  • SM&NC Farm Market

    2014.06.15
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 15 – October 5, 10am – 2pm We're thrilled to bring back the SM&NC Farm Market — now on Sundays!...

  • Animal Meet and Greet

    2014.06.22
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 22 - August 31, 3:30 - 4:00pm Stop by for a chance to meet one of our Overbrook Nature Center or Heckscher Farm animals up...

  • Bar: Live Music | Greenwich, CT

    2014.03.09
     @ Barcelona Greenwich

    Join us in Greenwich every Sunday for live music and half-priced bottles of wine!

  • Bar: Ladies Night | Old Greenwich, CT

    2014.02.18
     @ Beach House Cafe

    Drink Specials starting at 9:00pm 'till close, $2.00 off any Martini or Margarita.

  • Tuesday Wine Appreciation Night | Greenwich, CT

    2014.02.04
     @ Terra Sole

    Receive 50% off on most listed Wine under $100.00 and 25% off on bottles $100.00 and over!

  • Seaside Center: Shoreline Seining at Low Tide

    2014.07.15
     @ Seaside Center

    Help us collect data for the Long Island Sound biodiversity database. 1:00 pm: June 24, July 8, Aug 5, 19. 4:00 pm: July 1, 15, 22, 29,...


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