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It was a relaxing and calm California day, and Rob Bady and his son were enjoying some fishing on the beautiful Pacific Ocean off San Diego during the summer of 2021. All of a sudden, Bady’s son Iain began tugging at his fishing rod, reeling something in with a huge pull. A massive fish splashed out of the water and landed in the boat. Bady felt a rush of joy after seeing his teenage son ecstatic with his amazing catch. 

In this instance, Bady experienced what he terms a “small victory” with his son. Moments like these are the ones that stand out and mean the most to him. “There are wins and there are losses,” Bady told the RoundTable, “and life is full of them.” 

Rob Bady (Submitted photo)

A huge loss that Bady experienced was his 2017 run for alderman of Evanston’s Eighth Ward. By a mere 15 votes, he lost an opportunity to help govern his hometown, but he has found other ways to help the Evanston community, serving on multiple boards and as a volunteer at local events.

Bady is on the board of the Booster Club of Evanston Township High School, which is an important community to him. He was also the first African American member elected to the Ridgeville Park District Board, where he served for six years. In his free time, Bady is a vocalist for the bands Suite Mollie and the Chicago Groove Collective. These bands play a mixture of R&B, funk and rock ‘n’ roll, and play at weddings and other events. 

Bady says he believes that Evanston needs to pick the right people to run for office. By this, he means that people should be more involved with the community. He suggests that a way of helping new members of the community be more involved is to cultivate them and equip them with the tools and resources necessary to become active citizens of Evanston.

When asked about Leadership Evanston, a 10-month program that aims to help members of the Evanston be more active and involved in their communities, Bady said he believes that the Leadership Evanston program is a great way for people to get to know Evanston as well as access every facet of the town. 

Through all of his volunteering, political achievement and participation in local events, Bady has fallen in love with the Evanston community, even more than he did when he first moved to Evanston in 1999. He was already excited about Evanston’s diversity and sense of community. He was drawn to Reba Place Church, he said, because of its inclusive and caring members. It became something of a “second home” to him. He was elected to its development board, which helped shape the safe and comforting feeling that the church gave him.

Another aspect of Bady’s life that brings him happiness is his work. Like his volunteering and local participation, he has had a lengthy list of experiences and jobs. His first job was at CCC Information Services, where for two years, he traveled all over the country and worked with insurance companies. Afterward he spent the next eight years as a property manager for the real estate and development company Holston Properties & Development.

A friend of his took Bady to a live surgery, where he became drawn to the medical field. He learned a lot about the technology used in surgeries, which launched a 15-year career working as a medical device sales representative. Through this work, he learned that “everyone is a salesperson.” To him, everyone has to draw someone in to succeed: “Teachers have to draw in their students to learn, and writers have to hook in their readers,” he said.

Bady says he hopes to share his experiences with his family, friends and community, while simultaneously urging them to be active and cultivated members of the Evanston community.

“Life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon,” sums up Bady’s views on everyone’s responsibilities as Evanstonians: “Never give up, and keep striving to make the community better, both politically and socially.”

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  1. What a great article on Rob. I was hoping that he would run again for Ward 8 alderman in 2021, but he had other ideas and plans, apparently.