Bob Simpson, one of the most noted Southwest Florida executives of the past 15 years, finally got his way.
It comes in a street that now has his name. In the equivalent of a professional athlete having his number retired, the city of Fort Myers recently renamed a street after Simpson. It's Bob Simpson Way, a road with entrances at both Winkler and Evans avenues that leads to the LeeSar/ Cooperative Services of Florida Regional Service Center, 2727 Winkler Ave. A dedication ceremony for the street name was held Oct. 3 — a day before Simpson retired from LeeSar/CSF, which he led for more than 15 years.
Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson presented Simpson with a replica keepsake street sign at the event. Also, former Lee Health President and CEO Jim Nathan spoke about his onetime colleague at the ceremony.
“Simpson imparted a 15-year legacy of delivering quality and innovation, as well as meaningful value to our health care system,” Nathan said at the event, according to a statement. “His legacy is not simply what he will leave for people, it's also about what he does that will continue to resonate within them.”
A nonprofit health care supply chain, LeeSar was created in 1998 to deliver goods and services to Lee Health and the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System. When Simpson came on board in 2002, the organization was struggling, Nathan recalled in a previous interview.
“At the time Bob was hired in 2002, he told me that he wanted me to be able to sleep at night knowing that not only was the business in good hands but that it would be amazingly successful,” says Nathan. “Bob's visionary leadership transformed the company into an award winning and nationally recognized resource that allows member health systems to become more efficient, while also improving patient care.”
Under Simpson's leadership, LeeSar/CSF has grown 18% to 20% a year, and currently has some 500 employees. A 205,000-square-foot regional service center is currently under expansion to meet growing demand, a project that will add approximately 100,000 square feet to the facility and bring 50 new jobs. Longtime health care industry executive Bob Boswell was named as Simpson's replacement earlier this year.