SUCCESS STORY: Robert McMillin

by Kaitlyn Heeter, Health Assistant Class of 2018 -- Senior Journalism Final Article

There are many LCCTC students who come to our school to be successful; they then continue on with their lives and meet that goal. I have the honor to be able to get in touch with one such graduate.

Some know him as Robert McMillin, but I know him as “Bob.” He graduated in 1982 from masonry with Felix Sperdute as his shop teacher. Currently, he is self-employed as a mason, a general contractor, and a beekeeper. He is also a sprint car owner and driver.

It was Mr. Sperdute who motivated Bob to pursue the building trades. He states that, as he studied in shop, “Working hard and doing the job right is what makes the money.” Right after graduation, Bob was so motivated, he built his parents’ house! A daunting task, but Bob was up to the challenge. Mr. Sperdute was not the only one to inspire him. 

As for apiculture, the art of keeping bees, and sprint car racing, it was his grandfather, father, and uncle who inspired him. They taught him how to care for the colonies and harvest honey. Bob’s father and uncle also taught him about sprint cars and how to build them.   Today, he owns and races his #5 "Honey Bear" sprint car!

One of his obstacles he experienced after he graduated was that he struggled with the ins and outs of owning his own masonry and beekeeping businesses. After a few times of trial and error, he triumphed. He states, “One of the lessons I learned when I was a student at ‘Vo-Tech’: Even if you fail -- never give up.” Through research, he taught himself how to do bookkeeping -- one of the most challenging aspects of owning a business. Though it was his shop teacher who taught him the skills the trade and how to handle physical challenges, it was his academic teachers who taught him to identify the issue and to critical think using problem-solving and revision skills. He credits his success to having strong family support and outstanding teachers.

Once he found success in business, he decided to construct his own house at age 26 and had it paid off by the time he was 40. Today, he still lives in this home with a sense of pride of ownership and the knowledge that he built it himself! 

Not only did Bob have success from coming from LCCTC, but also had other success too. Coming LCCTC helps prepare students for the future and career.

Known to many as the "World's Fastest Beekeeper," Bob is noted as saying: “Hard work and determination will pay off.”

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