DAPHNE, Ala. – Entrepreneur, innovator, businessman, leader, you name it. If the title involves organizing, developing and implementing at a highly creative level, there is a pretty good chance Mr. Robert S. Block has held it at one time or another … or still does.
There also is a pretty good chance that when he has the opportunity to stop by the United States Sports Academy, he does. Which was exactly the case March 31 when the 80-something Reno, Nev., resident stopped by the school for which he has served on the Board of Trustees ever since its inception more than 40 years ago.
In the area on business, Block gave a few minutes of his time to share his recollections on how the Academy came to be back in 1972 once he connected with Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, who was then the athletic director at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and now the President and CEO of the Academy.
The two met, shared some common interests and ideas, along with Mr. Charles Cape, Mr. Gerald Hock and Dr. George Uhlig, and ultimately formed what has come to be known as “America’s Sports University.”
“We all had our hands in it,” said Block. “I had an office in Milwaukee that we actually used when getting the school started. But, make no mistake, Tom is the Academy. He is the driving force that really made it happen and made it go.”
Since helping the Academy gain a foothold in the world of higher education, Block has played an integral role in the computer, television and cellular phone industries. He was a forerunner in the Pay-TV market and actually created communication companies in developing nations. A pioneer in communications, information and management technologies, he is the inventor and owner of more than 150 U.S. and international patents, including ones for pay-per-view and parental control, terrestrial and satellite distribution systems.
Currently, he is the Chairman and Founder of 3D Business Tools, which focuses on utilizing computers to guide corporate management into “whole business thinking” in order to improve its performance.
Block’s background, which includes running a U.S. Medical Corps Hospital Pharmacy in Seoul, Korea, back in the mid-1940s, and education tells a remarkable tale as well. The latter, in fact, led to his receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the Academy for Education and Foreign Trade – subjects that Block studied at Latin American Institute, the University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.
During his stay, Block met with Vice President and COO Dr. T.J. Rosandich and took a little tour of the facility, including the art gallery.
Smiling, he said, “It’s nice to see. It’s wonderful to know that I played a part, even a small one, in what this has become.”
The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission Sports University created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.