PORT ST. LUCIE PEOPLE
ROBERT E. LEONARD
Lives in: Port St. Lucie for the
last 5 years
Family: A daughter in Maine,
two sons in Texas and three
Occupation: Printing and various
other businesses with his children
Education: Industrial engineering degree from Rochester
Institute of Technology; a master’s degree in business
administration from University of Dayton
Hobbies: “Business is my hobby.”
Who inspires you: “People with motivation, desire, who
want to improve themselves.”
Something most people don’t know: “I’ve got a bucket list,
and like to do things completely new to me. And my kids are
everything to me. The only way to get on my bad side is to
do something that hurts them.”
his first love.
Undaunted, Leonard returned to the gym the next morning
… with far different results.
“It’s like my brain reprogrammed overnight,” he says. “I
threw a ball and caught it. Kept throwing, kept catching. Suddenly
I knew that whatever problem I faced — anywhere — I
could practice my way through it.”
Leonard walked out of rehab 10 days later, spending the
next six months with his daughter in Maine.
“I thought I was 100 percent, but not even close,” the 64-
Port St. Lucie Magazine 45
year-old says. “Something would come back that I hadn’t
realized was missing.”
Raised a Catholic, he credits his recovery to his faith. Leonard
says even his doctor credits his recovery to prayer.
Born in Schenectady, New York, Leonard may have gotten
his head for business from his father, a manufacturing manager
for General Electric, but his energy came from his mother.
“She was a classical typist, an athlete typist,” he says. “You
couldn’t see her fingers when she typed, she was so fast.”
Leonard was a good student who thrived on competition
whether in baseball, football or wrestling. Today, he enters
speaking contests with Toastmasters and competes against
himself to keep improving. He works out at the gym daily.
Having started and sold several businesses, he works with
his children to grow their businesses in Texas and Maine.
A former volunteer for SCORE, a nonprofit organization
that helps small businesses, Leonard says helping businesses
develop and succeed is one of his greatest joys.
“One woman came in wanting to start a day care,” he
recalls. “The bank said she needed a business plan before
they’d give her a loan. She knew her subject better than anyone
I’d ever met. I told her to go back to the bank. She started
the day care and now has several locations.”
Such people inspire Leonard.
“They may not know that they can do something, but they
also don’t know that they can’t,” he says. “There’s an element
of what I call stupidity, people who don’t know that they
can’t do anything they want to do.”
Leonard’s business sense and drive certainly helped facilitate
his recovery from the stroke. Not accepting that a full
recovery was impossible … made anything possible. E