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2017 ACTE Business Leader of the Year


Bob Funk  
CEO & Chairman of the Board
Express Employment Professionals
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


Bob Funk is co-founder, CEO & Chairman of the Board of Express Employment Professionals. With international headquarters in Oklahoma City, it is one of the largest staffing companies in North America. Under Funk’s leadership, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide and has grown to more than 770 franchises in the United States, Canada and South Africa. Funk’s passion for CTE comes from years of fulfilling staffing needs for client companies that consistently acknowledge the growing need for skilled workers. Identifying a need for greater understanding of job market opportunities between educators and students, Express developed the free “Job Genius” educational video series to offer insights to job seekers and students on where and how to find gainful employment. Seeking to further empower the next generation to make knowledgeable education and career decisions, Express partnered with CEV Multimedia to develop online Career Preparedness and Business Office Technology certifications.

Funk advocates that CTE not only offers the technical and workplace skills needed to succeed in a 21st-century workforce, but it also leads to a rich variety of fulfilling careers. In 2014, he commissioned a white paper that explores the return on investment of traditional academic higher-education degrees compared to CTE alternatives.

Under Funk’s leadership, Express began sponsoring the ACTE Excellence Awards in 2014 as a gesture of support for the work of CTE educators across the nation. Personal financial support and that of Express has exceeded $5 million in student scholarships and teacher professional development grants to CTE, as well as to numerous youth and agricultural organizations. Funk served as the chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was also the chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve. Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating says, “Bob Funk is a man of great character and integrity. He is a leader in both business and the community, yet [he] always manages to find time to ‘do more.’“


Learn more about the 2017 ACTE Excellence Award winners.

Are you the best in CTE? Do you know someone who is?
Learn more about the ACTE Excellence Awards and how to apply.

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ACTE is committed to enhancing the job performance and satisfaction of its members; to increasing public awareness and appreciation for career and technical programs; and to assuring growth in local, state and federal funding for these programs by communicating and working with legislators and government leaders.



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