Robert William Yant, Jr.
Member of the Board of Directors
Foundation for Spinal Cord Injury Prevention, Care & Cure
Bob Yant is a native Californian. A graduate of University of California at Berkeley, Bob enjoyed a very active life, which included remodeling older homes and becoming a private pilot. But on June 24, 1981 Bob's life changed. On that day Bob became a quadriplegic as a result of the diving accident in the ocean at Newport Beach, California. Since that day, Bob has become even more active largely devoting his time to raising money for the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (until May 1999 known as the American Paralysis Association), a national, not-for-profit organization whose goal is to develop the earliest possible cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury.
Since joining the organization, Bob has held the following positions:
1982 to present - President and Founder, Orange County chapter
1984 to present - National Board of Directors member
1986 to 1988 - Coeditor, Progress in Research newsletter
1986 to present - Hotline contact
1987 to present - Chairman, Research Committee
1988 to present - Executive Committee of the national Board of Directors
1987 to 1991 - Vice President, Western Region
1991 to 1997 - Vice President, national American Paralysis Association
Working with state Sen. William Campbell, Bob convinced Gov. George Deukmejian to form the California State Task Force on Spinal Cord Injuries. The Task Force legislation, signed in 1986, investigated the need for state funding of spinal cord injury research. From 1987 to 1992 Bob was Vice Chairman of the California State Task Force on Spinal Cord Injuries.
In 1989 Bob founded Research Medical, a medical supply company which donated 10 percent of pretax profits to medical research. The company was very successful, growing to a $5 million dollar enterprise in five years. Research Medical also had a strong interest in hiring people who use wheelchairs, with wheelchair users comprising approximately 50 percent of the 50 employees in 1996.
Currently, Bob continues his involvement with the CRPF, including the Reeve-Smith Spinal Cord Research Center at University of California at Irvine. He is been deeply involved in his neighborhood association, serving as Treasurer, Vice President and as President. He sits on numerous advisory boards including the SEED (Self-employment for the Entrepreneur and Disabled) to seize Institute, a nod for-profit group which seeks to train disabled persons to become business entrepreneurs. In 1998, Bob helped to establish the Newport Elementary School Foundation (NESF), a private organization which raised $350, 000 in its first year. Bob served on the Board of Directors of an NESF, as Chairman of the Development Committee and head of the alumni organizing group. He is volunteered for six years at Newport Elementary School in Newport Beach, California, the city in which he resides. Currently, Bob is establishing Ensign Fund, a private foundation to support Ensign Intermediate School, a public school in Newport Beach.
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