STORY OF OUR FATHERS

Alan Kennebeck

Alan Kennebeck was born February 21, 1946 to a loving but meager existence. His parents both worked and making ends meet was a struggle. But because of this he learned hard work, duty and honor. Words that would be forever used to describe him. On scholarships and multiple jobs he first went to Christian brothers college, then University of Missouri finally gaining a masters from Webster. He joined the army to help pay for his school, serving 15 years and retiring a colonel in the reserves. He was an American. He was proud. He went on to be a success, holding high positions at Bank of Oklahoma where is father had just been a teller he became a Vice President. He was an executive and trust officer at Amcore, Frank Russel and Union Planters. Finally becoming the director of Advicon. He served on multiple boards, and helped many charities.

 He was an amazing husband and the best father. He came to every game, concert, recital that my sister and I were in...and had a standing rule that if family called we were to be put through regardless.  He never let me quit, even when I pleaded. And I hated piano.  He demanded perfection, and was willing to give it tirelessly. Giving up on yourself was not an option in Big Al's eyes. Because he would never give up on you. As a friend you could depend on him for anything. He was a man of his word and honor. When he passed he left behind a family that adored him, and friends that admired him. But he also left memories that remind those that knew him to do right,be right give back.

Empower Heroes is my way of honoring my father. "A hero is someone that has given his or her life to something bigger than himself" Joseph Cambell. My father did that everyday. He was my hero. 

 

Robert w. Korba (bob)

Robert W. Korba (Bob) was born in East Saint Louis, IL on October 15, 1943. He grew up in Springfield, IL with humble beginnings but lived in a home that stressed education and hard work. Being a 2nd generation American, he witnessed the challenges his immigrant family faced without education and opportunity and this had a lasting impact. Bob was a natural leader and excelled academically and athletically but maintained his humility and family-oriented nature. He graduated from Griffin High School in Springfield, IL and earned a golf scholarship to the University of Nebraska where he earned a Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctorate. Some of his greatest memories were his days in Lincoln where he made lifelong friends and met his eventual bride, Jane. His group of college friends affectionately carried the name of the Y Street Gang because they lived at 854 Y Street! The Y Street Gang made a lasting impression with their infamous parties and unbreakable bonds they shared.  

Bob married Jane Whalen Korba on December 28, 1968; they were married 46 years. He always considered his greatest accomplishment in life to be his wife, three children and four grandchildren. He was family man and you could always find him at home with his wife, cooking, laughing, enjoying a cold beer and always being present and enjoying these moments he so greatly treasured. 

Upon graduation from law school, Bob began his service during the Vietnam War in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Ft. Sam Houston as a 1st Lieutenant in Military Intelligence and served 3 proud years. He was always very clear that serving in the military changed him for the better and allowed him to find future success professionally. While he was a high achiever throughout his life, he said he lacked discipline, humility and trust in others. Bob credits the military for giving him these qualities that carried him through the rest of his life. He truly lived a life of honor, respect, humility, duty, ethics and discipline. He was always proud of his service and country that gave him such great opportunities.

After the military, Bob and his family moved to Denton, TX where he began his law career. He fondly remembered his first job and his salary of $21,000. He joined Sammons as Associate General Counsel in late 1973 and this is where he found his home professionally. Sammons is a multi-faceted holding corporation and ranks among the largest privately owned companies in the world with more than 3,800 employees worldwide. He experienced great success and ultimately became CEO of Sammons Enterprises in 1988 and held that position for over 20 years until his retirement in 2009. He continued to serve Sammons as the Chairman of the Board until 2011. In 2011, Forbes ranked Sammons as the #121 largest privately owned company with revenue of $3.3 billion, 3,800 employees and assets over $50 billion. Above all, Bob loved the people of Sammons and their commitment to a culture of ethics and hard work. Today Sammons still describes their company as “The core of our company reflects proven operational expertise surrounded by a superior foundation of values and ethics.” That gave him a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Holding numerous civic and business distinctions, Bob served as Chairman of Sammons Enterprises, Verus Real Estate, LLC, Y Street Ventures, LLC, Luxe Home, LLC and Director of Guggenheim Capital, LLC and E2M Holdings.  Bob was a member of the Dallas Citizens Council and served on the Executive Committee of the University of Nebraska College Law Alumni Council, Dallas County Community College District Foundation and the UT Southwestern Medical Foundation. Bob was awarded the University Of Nebraska College Of Law Distinguished Alumnus in 2010 and the UT Southwestern Charles Cameron Sprague Community Service Award in 2011.

And finally…keeping with his long standing tradition of closing a meeting…JDFIU people!!