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Speaker: Bob Fleck

Bob Fleck Educated at Albert College and McMaster University, Bob Fleck has spent nearly half a century in advertising and communications. Winning awards in New York, Hollywood, Chicago and many Canadian centres, Bob produced and/or directed over 1000 national radio and TV ads in Canada and the U.S.

In the past 20 years he has also created hundreds of videos, including about 85 pro bono projects for non-profit organizations, for which he has raised the funds or underwritten himself. These projects run the gamut from addictions to kids in trouble to homelessness, intellectual disabilities and a number of projects related to health care. Of these last, many have centred on women's cancer supportive care.

Bob has dedicated himself to helping newly diagnosed female cancer patients to see the upside of their cancer journey. "The sooner we get them thinking positively, the better will be their outcomes." Bob Fleck has, so far, done seven projects on this subject, some passive, such as celebrating the wonderful volunteer work of Wellspring, Wellwood and Breast Cancer Support Services or more active pursuits.

In the spring of 2010, Bob took on the giant task of capturing The International Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Festival, in a 30 minute documentary, "because it is too good a story to go into the ether". 2,007 women and 3men, from all over the world, gathered in Peterborough to further one of the most exciting developments in improving the lives of breast cancer patients around the world. "This documentary will help many thousands of women and some men to become involved in this sport for fun, for camaraderie and, in many cases, to dramatically reduce the negative impact of cancer on their lives. We need to get the word out to help people with cancer to take control and help themselves."

Bob lives in Oakville with his wife, Shelagh and daughter, Beatrice, who attends Sheridan College.

Topics: Change and Innovation; Communication and Technology; Health and Wellness; Ethical, Moral and Spiritual Issues

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Top Speaking Topics

CHANGING HOW WE SEE THE CANCER JOURNEY:  Fifteen years ago the public’s approach to cancer was to engage in fundraising activities, (runs, walks etc.) and pour the money into a wide-mouthed, bottomless pit called, “The Cure”.  There has been progress, though as more time passes, a cure for cancers seems less rather than more likely.  In the meantime, the volunteer-driven supportive care side of the cancer story has materialized and shown how it can dramatically change the landscape.  Yet we still strap on our runners and raise money for, “The Cure”.  It’s time for a seismic shift in the paradigm.

A BUMBLE BEE IN THE GARDEN, (working in the world of social-service nonprofits):  There are so many superb organizations, working with meager resources, bent on helping people with addictions, intellectual disabilities, kids at risk, cancer support, homelessness and many other causes.  It has been my privilege to fly into their lives, learn all about them and tell their stories in an effort to spread the word.  You might call it cross-pollinating.  In so many cases, individual organizations are a template to be adopted across the country.  The four letter word is LOVE.

THE NEXT BEST THING TO BEING THERE:  From cave walls to Egyptian scrolls to the printing press, radio and television and now the internet, communications has harnessed and adapted to changing technology.  Now video, the most accessible level of motion pictures, has become the paramount tool in getting your message out and the internet has become the perfect distribution system.  There is no other way to carry your message or your environment or your people to the viewer's doorstep as effective as video.  My 50 years working with this medium from its beginnings has guided me in its use.