Polansky Brings Passion for Encouraging Others to Role as HSS Board Chair
Clients and staff of Human Support Services (HSS) have spent countless summer afternoons fishing, swimming, hiking and picnicking on the grounds of Camp Wartburg, a Lutheran retreat center and summer camp facility outside Waterloo.
It was through these activities that Robert “Bob” Polansky, executive director of Camp Wartburg, first came to experience the people and culture of HSS.
Bob was there at Camp - cheering as clients with developmental disabilities pushed themselves physically, tried a new activity, and experienced the simple pleasures of a day at camp.
He saw the dedication of the HSS staff who have devoted their careers to helping these clients live their best lives. He witnessed the bonds they formed, the friendships that blossomed, and the encouragement and support offered each step of the way.
Bob was inspired by these interactions but knew there was more he could give the organization. That’s when he got involved as a volunteer and joined the HSS board of directors.
“I have always been a person to include everyone in whatever they would like to do. Encouraging and helping others be the best that they can be is an important part of my work,” according to Bob.
In the seven years since Bob joined the board, he has spearheaded a campaign to increase fundraising efforts and raise awareness of HSS and its services.
“When I came to HSS there was only an Image Committee.” Bob explained, “This group changed its focus and has made great strides in revamping the logo, mission statement, and has become an important sub-committee of HSS.”
Constantly looking for ways to promote the growth and development of the organization, Bob is very much looking forward to celebrating the 50th anniversary of HSS in 2023.
As current board chairperson, Bob plays a major role in marking this momentous milestone and HSS is proud to have him at the helm this year.
In addition to his role with HSS, Bob, via Camp Wartburg, is a member of the Waterloo Chamber of Commerce and Lutheran Elementary School Association (LESA). He is also very active at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Waterloo.
Bob studied religion at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. He is active in the Association of Christian Fundraising (ACF), American Camp Association (ACA), and National Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Association (NLOMA), where he has served in a national and regional leadership capacity.
Recently, Bob and his wife, Linda, took a big step towards living smaller when they moved into one of the tiny houses at Camp Wartburg.
In his free time, Bob is a self-proclaimed “bat nerd.” He loves exploring caves and studying bats.