After serving his country as a Navy Seal, Bob Heideman turned his interest in lake and wastewater aeration into a business, founding Aquatic Eco-Systems in 1978. Though at first it was necessary to keep part-time jobs as a carpenter and bartender to finance his dream, he quickly developed his company into an industry leader. Bob actively served as President until 2007, and he remained a valued advisor to the company's Board of Directors until his passing. The fruit of his labor is a global aquaculture company that today has 150 employees operating out of a 139,000-sq.ft. warehouse/office building in Apopka, Florida.
Bob led a very active personal life, fueled by a sense of adventure and exploration, which included a solo kayak trip to the Arctic Circle and an ultralight flight to the Amazon to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Columbus' landing in America. Bob also devoted much of his time to community service, including the Bear Lake Preservation Society, Little League baseball, national and global aquaculture societies, and the Grant Committee for the Institute of Humanist Studies, where he served as chairman. He mentored many young entrepreneurs and can be credited for helping launch dozens of small businesses.
Todd Childress, President of Aquatic Eco-Systems, commented,
"As a pioneer in the aquatics industry, Bob was an inspiration to so many, and a true hero to the environment. Bob cared about our environment and our natural resources many years before it was the 'trendy' thing to do. Bob has left a legacy that we-and generations to come-can all be proud of, and he is a terrific example of how one individual can make a difference."
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Bob's name to the Institute of Humanist Studies or the Hospice of the Comforter.
Founded in 1978, Aquatic Eco-Systems (AES) has become the largest source of aquatic products and systems worldwide. AES caters to a variety of aquatic interests and industries, from aquaculture and lake management to aquariums and water gardens.
For more information about AES, visit www.AquaticEco.com.
Reprinted from PondBiz Magazine.