ALISO VIEJO, CA – December 19, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Robert M. “Bob” Campbell, one of the most influential leaders in the California commercial real estate industry for more than four decades, passed away on Dec. 15, 2011, in Newport Beach, Calif. He passed peacefully at home surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren. Campbell was 71.
Campbell founded CT Realty Corp., along with U.T. “Tom” Thompson, III, in 1994 and served as president of the company from 1994 to 2009, becoming chairman in 2009. During Campbell’s tenure, CT Realty completed more than 200 transactions valued in excess of $2.5 billion. Prior to establishing CT Realty, Campbell was general partner of Birtcher Campbell Properties for 20 years. While at Birtcher, he was responsible for the development of commercial real estate projects involving more than 11.5 million square feet of space. He was also a founder and past chairman of the board of Pacific National Bank in Newport Beach.
Over the years, Campbell was the recipient of numerous awards for his business and philanthropic achievements. In 2003, he received the UC Irvine Graduate School of Management’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented to an individual who has exhibited a long period of positive influence over the real estate industry in Orange County, Calif. In addition, Campbell was honored with Ernst & Young’s prestigious “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in 2003 in the category of Real Estate Services. He was also presented with a proclamation by the city of Newport Beach that same year in recognition of his service to Orange County business and the general community.
Over the decades, Campbell volunteered thousands of hours to nonprofit organizations and community activities. He was an original member of the “Teahouse Gang,” a group of prominent commercial real estate professionals who recognized the need to do more for the local community. The group held their first annual charity event in 2001 to benefit KIDWORKS, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and nurturing at-risk youth.
In 2002 the Teahouse Gang held a benefit that raised roughly $1 million for KIDWORKS. Campbell and the other Teahouse Gang members established the Building Block Foundation Fund, which supports programs that encourage at-risk, underprivileged but deserving youth in Orange County to achieve more rewarding lifestyles. Campbell was honored for his leadership with this organization in 2005 by the Orange County United Way, which presented him with the Dan Donahue Award at its annual Keeping Kids on Track luncheon.
In 2007, Campbell was recognized for turning “real estate success” into “real success for at-risk youth” with the Keys to Success Award. The award is presented each year by Project Access, a nonprofit organization that assists residents of low-income housing apartment communities with achieving self-sufficiency through access to onsite health, education and social services. The organization was founded in 1999 by Foundation for Social Resources, a nonprofit provider of affordable housing in California.
Campbell was born on Sept. 5, 1940, in Oakland, Calif., and received his bachelor of science degree in engineering from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif. He is also a two-time graduate of UCLA’s business school with a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in business administration. Both degrees were earned while working as a research analyst for Planning Research Corp. and as an assistant professor at California State University, Los Angeles.
In addition to his business career and dedication to helping others, Campbell was a passionate golfer who loved to travel with his wife of 37 years, Jean. Campbell was also deeply devoted to his Christian beliefs and was a member of Mariners Church/South Coast Community Church in Irvine, California, for nearly 30 years. Campbell’s commitment was nurtured by his weekly participation in a Christian Men’s Covenant Group which offered guidance, comfort and prayer for members facing personal and professional challenges. He served as an intermediary for many of the group’s challenges, using his extraordinary leadership talent, willingness to listen and quiet, thoughtful manner to resolve even the most difficult situations.
In addition to Jean, Campbell is survived by his daughter Kristen and son-in-law Rob Venick and their two children, James and Katelyn; daughter Kelly and son-in-law Michael McFadden and their three children Campbell, Piper and Mikayla, of Denver, Colorado; and his sister Rae Nash of Alamogordo, New Mexico.
A memorial service for Campbell is planned for Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011, at Mariners Church at 11 a.m. in the Community Center located at 5001 Newport Coast Dr., Irvine, Calif., 92603 (corner of Newport Coast Drive and Bonita Canyon Drive). In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Building Block Foundation Fund (www.buildingblolck.org) or Kure It (www.kureit.org).
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