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We lost Robert Ott, a remarkable leader, father, husband and human being, on December 21, 2012. He went out for his morning walk, was struck by a car, and was killed. The shock and sorrow remain, as does the very long and broad leadership shadow that so many of us were lucky enough to experience while he was with us.

Tanya Corners, Bill Story, Robert Ott, Avery Block 11-2008

The community of People Report was fortunate to get to know Robert and his incredible team when he was the CEO of Claim Jumper. He was passionate, funny, relentless, focused, compassionate, and competitive; the consummate operator. He just wanted his brand and his team to be the best, and did everything in his power to help them do it. Under his leadership, Claim Jumper was awarded the People Report Best Practices Award for upscale casual dining an unprecedented four times. One of our most memorable moments was the chance to surprise Robert and his team, onstage, with their fourth award in 2008. He thought he was there to help present it as a prior winner, and conference chair. Laughter, tears, immense pride, the picture below tells the story.

So many counted him as a mentor, coach, and advisor. Robert was a servant leader, a quietly spiritual man who embodied dignity, integrity and love. So we must honor his memory by living and working in ways that would have made him proud. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of our friends who knew and worked with Robert, and to his family, community and immense network of friends. He was too young, and he was one of the best.

If you would like to make a donation in his honor, the funds are listed below.

Robert F. Ott Memorial Fund
(For education of his children)
Wells Fargo Bank account #8229105898

1544 West Glenoaks Blvd
Glendale, CA 91201