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Q&A with Region 5 Administrator Bob Pries

Mike Lee

Mike Lee, a native of Chicago, graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Creative Writing. At LMU, Mike developed international and domestic volunteer trips and served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Student Veterans Organization. Mike’s professional background is in advertising and marketing, and has experience in executing large print and digital campaigns for non-profit and tourism clients. He lives in Los Angeles where he thinks a lot about dogs, bourbon, and the Chicago Bears.

Region 5 Communications Manager Pam Gieselman hit up Army veteran Bob Pries of Farmington Hills, IL, who was recently named Team Rubicon’s Region 5 Administrator.

Former Army combat medic Bob Pries takes on the role of Region 5 Administrator after serving on Operation: Honest Abe in Washington, IL.

P: What’s your background with TR?
B: I was a volunteer and Operations Section Chief in Washington, IL for Operation: Honest Abe. Earlier this year, I was brought in as the Michigan Field Operations Coordinator and recently became the Regional Administrator of Region 5.

P: Are you a veteran?
B: Yes. I served with the U.S. Army as a combat medic. From 1968 to 1974, I served three years of active duty. I deployed on two tours in Vietnam with the 2nd Battalion 47th Infantry Regiment, 9th ID and 1st Battalion 5th Infantry Regiment, 25th ID.

P: How and why did you join TR?
B: I’ve worked for many years assisting my fellow Vietnam veterans and participating in community volunteer work from time to time. I read about TR online during the summer of 2013. After learning about the mission, principles, and operation history, I thought, “Wow, I need to join this team.”  I immediately signed up.

P: Do you have a favorite moment from your time on Operation: Honest Abe?
B: In that final week, the temperatures were near zero, with strong winds putting the temperatures well below zero. Suffice it to say, it was brutally cold. However, this did not deter our unbelievably mission-focused, caring people who are TR. 

The homeowners I interacted with during this time expressed their amazement that TR would continue to work in such conditions and were very thankful. Those interactions were personally humbling and reinforced the importance of the work TR performs.

The memory of our team rockin’ it with a defiant, “Bring it, Mom Nature!” attitude in those brutally cold conditions will forever bring a smile to my face.

P: What is your favorite tool to use on a deployment?
B: Sledgehammer.  It breaks things. 

P: As the new Regional Administrator, what’s your vision for Region 5?
B: This question brings out the old HR/business dude in me.  I see the vision as a picture of the future. With that in mind, it’s important to note we have a highly skilled team to execute our missions with excellence. We take care of each other and others in their time of need. We work hard and play hard, and we’re proud of our collective and individual accomplishments. We should all be proud to say, “We are Region 5, we never quit!”

P: Anything else you’d like to share with TR Nation?
B: If you haven’t already done so, I encourage TR members to complete ICS 100, 200, 700 and 800 free online training.  The skills gained in the Incident Command System courses build individual capability and that of our mission critical skills needed for success.

Lastly, I offer one of my favorites quotes and a question as food for thought:  “The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.” (– Kalu Kalu) What will be your legacy?

Former Army combat medic Bob Pries gets dirty with his crew in Region 5 during Operation: Honest Abe.
Former Army combat medic Bob Pries gets dirty with his crew in Region 5 during Operation: Honest Abe.