BOB DETTORE for Congress, PA 6th District
Born in South Philadelphia and growing up in its Far Northeast, Bob Dettore learned first-hand about the American dream. His father Richard worked as a union tailor, and his mother Rita worked part-time nights as a switchboard operator at the Frankford Arsenal. Like most working class families, the Dettores had some lean times, but by pinching pennies and working overtime they were able to own their own home and save for their future. After working a full week, Richard, himself a WWII vet and VMI attendee, would spend most weekends working a second job as a wedding photographer to help pay the bills. Bob helped out by cutting lawns and got his first official job at sixteen, working behind the counter at Burger King for $0.90 an hour.
Growing up, the Dettore family’s motto could have been: “Work hard. Do your best. Keep your word. Have faith in the future.” Bob met his future wife Bonnie at a school dance at age 15, and she remembers that even then he had an intensely hopeful attitude toward the future; he wanted to be an engineer so that he could help build a better America. Bob achieved this dream in 1978, when he became the first in his family to graduate from college, with a double-major in civil engineering and construction management from Spring Garden College in Philadelphia.
After college, Bob soon took a job as an engineer with Badger America in Cambridge Massachusetts. Homesick for Philly, Bob and Bonnie moved in with Bob’s parents for a few months to save up to afford their own home. They bought their first house in Cornwells Heights, in Bucks County in 1978, shortly after the birth of their daughter Stephanie. In 1987 Bob and his family moved to Berwyn in Chester County, where son Robert Jr. was born. Both children attended Tredyffrin-Easttown public schools. Bob’s wife Bonnie started college at age 31 and upon graduation became a PA registered critical care nurse at Bryn Mawr Hospital.
Bob is trained as an EMT, has served as a medical missionary in Honduras and remains an active supporter of the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service Center, “Serving those who served”. From 2011 to 2013 Bob served as a full- time uncompensated mentor to a Service Disabled Veteran in the founding of the JD Bravo Company.
During his 39 year career as a Construction Executive Bob managed and directed a wide range of public, and private sector projects and programs having an aggregate value of over $4 billion-all while navigating positive relationships between owners, management, and unionized craft personnel. Bob has always been proud of his ability to rescue struggling projects through the effective use of his communication and collaboration skills to find common ground between disputing parties. His commitment to honesty and integrity has resulted in his good fortune to count former Clients among his best friends. Even as he became more successful, he never forgot that the employees working on his projects were usually just like his parents: people working as hard as they could to help support their families and better their lives. He always made sure that when he and his company did well, so did all of his employees.
Bob’s approach to leadership was influenced by one of his political heroes, Harry S. Truman: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Washington needs to put working people first, not ideological fighting or partisanship. If elected, he plans to focus on enacting into law real solutions that put Americans back to work in good jobs. He strongly believes that government should allocate its limited resources into investments in America’s infrastructure, universal national high-speed internet, and public education. Above all else, he believes that America needs to return to being a country that provides paths of opportunity where honesty and hard work can lead to the stability that so characterizes the American dream.