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Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022 4 months ago

'GrandBob': Former Ormond Beach real estate CEO was dedicated to his family, community

Robert Adams died on Jan. 11, surrounded by his family.
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

Robert L. Adams, former president and chief executive officer of Adams, Cameron and Co. Realtors, died peacefully on Jan. 11, surrounded by his family. He was 79 years old. 

Adams, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, moved to Ormond Beach in 1971 where he entered the real estate profession to work alongside his mother, Helen Adams in her boutique real estate firm that, at the time, only had five other agents. According to his obituary, provided to the Observer by his family, Adams and his mother redefined "the way real estate was transacted in the local area" in 1978 after the merger of Helen Adams Realty with Cameron Realty. Adams was appointed president and and CEO of the new company, just four years after he had become a partner and sales manager of his mother's real estate company.

Together, they grew Adams, Cameron and Co. Realtors into one of the area's largest real estate companies. 

For his son, John Adams, current president of the company, one of the lessons he learned from his father was to take the time to understand others, to take into account their goals and invest in building relationships.

“That’s so much more important than I ever realized in the past, because those relationships and those connections in a community the size of ours last much longer than any deal you’re going to put together," he said.

And Robert Adams certainly made connections.

He was the first president and chairman of the Board of the Realty World Brokers Council of East Central Florida, the founding director of the International Association of Realty World Brokers, and in 1979, received the Board of Realtors Diamond Pin award. 

In 1982, Adams founded Adams Cameron Title Company. Following that year, he served as president of the Daytona Beach Area Association of Realtors, was named Realtor of the Year in 1991 and was recognized as an Honorary Lifetime Member in 2001, to name a few of his accolades. Outside the real estate community, Adams, a Seabreeze High School alumnus and graduate of the University of South Florida, was part of of the Daytona Beach Quarterback Club, University Club, and the Ormond Beach Rotary Club, "where his passion for helping others within the community led him to become a three-time Paul Harris Award recipient," his obituary states.

John Adams said overall, his father was very social and personable.

“He could strike up a conversation with just about anybody, and he used to do it," John Adams said. "I’d get together with him and we’d go to lunch, and he’d start a conversation with somebody else who was in the restaurant or even the waiter or waitress and begin talking to them about what interested them and what their goals were.”

Robert Adams, a native of Buffalo, New York, also enjoyed friendships and memberships in the Beech Mountain Country Club, Halifax River Yacht Club, Oceanside Country Club, and The Rock Harbor Club of Key Largo. Adams served on local bank boards as well, and founded the Board of Coquina Bank.

His obituary details that Adams had a passion for the local area and loved to take his family to Ponce Inlet by boat on the weekends. He also loved the Florida Keys, where and his wife, Ryan — whom he married in 1967 — later purchased a second home. 

Aside from his wife of 55 years, he is survived by his four children: John, Erin, Ryan and Lauren; and nine grandchildren who called him "GrandBob." John Adams said that's something many people didn't realize — how devoted he was to his grandchildren. 

“That was the most thrilling thing for him, and he got so excited and he would go and pick them up from school and do other things to take care of the grandkids," John Adams said. "He just loved having them over and even though it sometimes got a little bit nutty in the room with a bunch of little kids running around, it was one of his happiest moments.”

A celebration of life will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20, at St. Brendan Catholic Church, located at 1000 Ocean Shore Blvd. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Adams Cameron Foundation, which was co-founded by Adams in 2017.

This story was updated at 5:10 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

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