Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

Featured Alumni Profile

Robert J. Macey   

An Image of Adaptation:
CCAC Alumnus Represents a Community’s Story

At any given moment, Robert Macey (’98, South) is an Allegheny County Councilman, marketer, business developer, father, grandfather, pilot, educator, fisherman, advocate, gardener, volunteer and one–time steelworker; and the list goes on. Bob is an unquestionably industrious person, which is really a testament to his life’s story—a story epitomizing both the Western Pennsylvania work ethic and the region’s aptitude for change, a story we, in one way or another, may very well recognize as our own.

Bob is a life–long resident of the Monongahela River Valley, more colloquially known as the Mon Valley, which was once home to an immense steel industry. His great–grandparents emigrated from Faversham, Kent, England, moving to the City of Duquesne, where his grandparents and parents were born and raised, and where he would later find employment as a steelworker.

Born in McKeesport at the renowned J.W. Painter Building and raised in the Borough of White Oak, Bob was the first of two children, older than his sister by slightly more than one year. Bob’s characteristic diligence started to become apparent throughout his childhood and during his years at McKeesport High School. Though he played football at McKeesport High for one year, Bob focused primarily on his academic pursuits, even taking a drafting course his senior year; however, his diligence plays its largest role outside of the scholastic environment.

Bob continuously held a number of jobs in his youth. As a child, he mowed his neighbors’ lawns, shoveled snow out of driveways and washed cars. It was not until his senior year of high school that Bob held, as he humorously states, his first “real” jobs. Two once­–venerable, now nonexistent, Pittsburgh area institutions, Rainbow Gardens amusement park and Winky’s Hamburgers, provided many high school–aged residents of the Monongahela River Valley with employment. Bob worked at Rainbow Gardens as a ride operator his senior year of high school while also employed at Winky’s, cooking hamburgers, working the cash register and doing whatever else might have been asked of him during his shift. He graduated high school in 1966.

Like many of us, Bob was faced with pursuing a multitude of directions, and as his life after high school progressed, he eventually married and raised four children—he is now the proud grandfather of four as well. The responsibility of supporting a family compelled Bob to explore a number of career opportunities, and in 1967, he began working at Enamel Products & Painting Company. For nearly two years, he operated a forklift while also fabricating awnings and working on the company’s paint line; however, Bob decided he needed something more, eventually leaving the company to pursue a profession in the local steel industry.

 Bob quickly attained employment at U.S. Steel, Duquesne Works, like many of his neighbors, friends and other fellow residents of the Monongahela River Valley. He was employed first as a boilermaker and then as an electrician during his 15 years at the mill. When U.S. Steel, Duquesne Works, unfortunately closed, Bob spent nearly a year as a representative of the then United Steelworkers of America, District 15, where he worked to revitalize Western Pennsylvania’s steel industry as the union’s local financial secretary. It was a challenge, and though he had put countless hours into the effort, the region’s industrial foundations had shifted. Bob, like so many steelworkers, adapted.

From 1986 to 1987, Bob worked for the United Way of Allegheny County as an outreach coordinator while also working for the Homestead Community Federal Credit Union as an office manager. He then entered the automotive sales profession in 1987, transitioning to become an insurance physical damage appraiser in 1993. Bob was then employed by Century Heritage Federal Credit Union in 1995, after volunteering there  for 14 years, where he worked his way to become director of business development and community relations. He currently holds this position, and has plans to remain very active within the credit union movement well after his June 2013 retirement.

Bob maintained his passion for education throughout his distinctive career. In 1984, he attended CCAC?South Campus to take Aviation Management courses, after which he was licensed as a commercial pilot. In 1986, he again attended CCAC to take classes in Credit Union Accounting, gaining an understanding he still applies on a daily basis. Bob graduated from CCAC?South Campus in 1998 with an Associate of Science in Business Management, the same year he was certified as a firefighter by the Allegheny County Fire Academy. Shortly over one year later, Bob would become a Certified Marketing Executive (CME) through the University of Missouri. In 2004, he was certified in aircraft rescue and firefighting.

Some may agree that experience and education truly define Bob Macey’s life, though many know him, too, as a volunteer, a public servant and an advocate for his community. In 2006, Bob was elected to represent his neighbors and friends in Allegheny County’s 9th District as their county councilman. He currently represents 14 communities in the Monongahela River Valley, is chairman of the county’s Public Works Committee, co–chairman of the Special Committee of Parks & Public Works and a member of a number of committees ranging from Economic Development & Housing to Health & Human Services. Bob is also president and founder of the West Mifflin Community Foundation; member of the CCAC Aviation Advisory Board, Duquesne–West Mifflin Rotary, Regional Chamber Alliance Foundation and Regional Trail Corporation; board member and secretary of the West Mifflin #3 Volunteer Fire Company; and commissioner of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission.

Throughout his life of change, adaptation and representation, Bob remains a consistently grateful person. He values his time at CCAC, as he was always amazed with how intelligent his classroom interactions were. Now, as a county councilman, he truly understands how important it is for others to have the opportunity to attain a quality, inexpensive education, and he is incredibly proud knowing that CCAC is respected both statewide and nationally for offering exactly that.

Though he has received many honors and awards in his lifetime, Bob states, “The only honor I recognize is the honor of serving people, helping people and working with them to solve their problems.” His advice to CCAC students is succinct, yet fundamentally true—to find a life’s passion, always remain truthful, volunteer and help others by improving the quality of life in our communities.

Bob enjoys fishing, gardening and spending time with his family. His plans for the future are to continue to serve the public; to help others. Bob Macey is tireless.