Bob Handy has been a financial professional since 1999, focusing on retirement and estate planning. He is a General Securities Representative, Uniform Investment Advisor Representative and Group 1 Health and Life Insurance agent affiliated with ViaQuest Financial Group, which is based in the Clear Lake‐NASA area of Houston, Texas.
Bob holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science and a Master’s degree in U.S. History (Portland State University) with an emphasis on Diplomatic History and the History of U.S.‐China Relations. He has done postgraduate work in Chinese (Columbia University) and the history of U.S.‐China relations (University of Iowa). He spent more than 30 years in community international‐education, traveling throughout the world during those years.
He began his professional career at College of the Mainland in Texas City, Texas as Coordinator of Adult Continuing Education and Community Services. In that capacity, he expanded the college's non‐credit avocational courses greatly, received federal funding for the first community college‐based senior citizens program in Texas, established a thriving community theater and offered multiple special seminars and guest lecture programs.
In 1976, he founded the Gulf Coast Council on Foreign Affairs (now the Houston World Affairs Council), a college‐based, member‐supported, citizen world affairs education program. He then served as its Executive Director and the college’s Director of International Education for 8 years, until assuming the position of Executive Director of the nearly defunct Houston World Trade Association. He rebuilt the association over four years, until it was absorbed into the Greater Houston Partnership as the World Trade Division. He then served as President of Development Resources International, Inc., an international consulting company.
During these years he served as a founding board member of the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators, was a member of the Houston Committee on Foreign Relations, and served on the Executive Committee of the National Council of World Affairs Organizations. In 1979, he was invited to and hosted by, the government of the People’s Republic of China, for three weeks of high‐level briefings on the current state and future development projections of the PRC. In 1982, he became the second Texan to be selected as a Delegate to the European Community Visitors Program. He spent five weeks in four European Community countries and the former Czechoslovakia, meeting with a wide variety of government officials studying the EC and its relationship with with the Eastern Block of nations.
In 1992, he seized an opportunity to serve in his primary field of history, assuming the position of Director of the Brazoria County Historical Museum in Angleton, Texas. Over his seven year tenure, he raised its stature to the "model" county historical museum in Texas” (Texas Historical Association). The museum was the second in the nation to put a major exhibit on and the first to add its collections to, the Internet. He was then instrumental in creating the Texas History Internet Consortium which consolidated the collections of area museums and libraries (Austin’s Colony), making them searchable on the Internet. This was accomplished through a $150,000 grant from the Houston Endowment. He increased the museum’s annual budget significantly, through membership development and external funding, and expanded its endowment holdings by tens of thousands of dollars.
During his tenure at the museum, he was appointed Chairman of the Stephen F. Austin Bicentennial Commission by Texas Governor Ann Richards. He also served for five years, as an adjunct faculty member at Alvin College, teaching college‐level U.S. History, mostly in local prisons. He is proud to note that one of his prison students subsequently graduated summa cum laude from University of Houston at Clear Lake, supporting his passionate belief in the redemptive power of education.
One of his strongest passions is in the area of citizen world affairs understanding. He has led annual U.S. foreign policy study‐discussion programs for over forty years. His Great Decisions discussion groups were recently recognized by the Foreign Policy Association as one of five national recipients of the annual Frank R. Cella Memorial Award.
He and a former colleague funded and continue to support the annual Robert T. Handy Distinguished International Lecture program at College of the Mainland in Texas City and he is strongly committed to the support of the Bernard Burke History Scholarship Endowment which he was instrumental in establishing at Portland State University twenty-some years ago. Two history students receive scholarships from the endowment each year. In years when the endowment does not generate sufficient earnings, he makes up the difference. He was also recently appointed to the Advisory Board of the Portland State Friends of History organization and currently serves as Vice President.