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Meet the President

Robert L. Burns Sr.
President

Bob was born and raised in North Philadelphia, PA., where he attended Thomas Edison High, an all boys school. Upon Graduation Bob enlisted in the US Air Force where he, his wife Deborah and their young son Robert Jr. traveled while living on many air force bases throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Bob has always had a knack for the arts and developed a hobby of photography, which he used to pass the time in the military. After four years of service in the Air Force, Bob returned to Philadelphia. While trying to make ends meet he began to make his own furniture for use in his home with the skills in wood working which he’d began developing through school and part time jobs. With photos taken of his furniture, Bob created a portfolio which gained him acceptance to the Philadelphia College of Art (PCA) where he spent four years as a Furniture/Industrial Design major with a minor in structures & construction. At PCA Bob further developed a love for wood working. After school Bob went on to work for David LaPenta Inc. as a General Superintendent, following he worked for Interior space finishers and Ray Moore Contractors as a Project Manager. Bob then decided to use his independent thinking and leadership skills to start his own business, Burns Construction Company which he started in 1987. After three years he found that starting his own business was much tougher than he thought. While evaluating the decision to continue with his own business, he was offered a position as Project Manager in Florida.

Bob moved his family to Florida and began working as a Project Manager for Wade Development. He gained experience working with the owner of the company during his first major project back in Philadelphia. After four years working as a Project Manager in Corporate America he felt as if he had reached the glass ceiling. Hoping for the opportunity to advance in his leadership and creativity Bob decided give Entrepreneurship another try. He opened R L Burns Inc. a general construction/ construction management firm in 1994. He founded this company on the mission to provide quality construction for his clients and end-users.

March 2008, R L Burns Inc. celebrated its 14th Anniversary with the Grand Opening of their new Corporate Office. This long time dream was a project designed and built by Bob and allowed him to revisit his first love of wood working and furniture design.

Today, Bob is an active board member of the Executive Board of The Central Florida Council for Boy Scouts of America, and the Selective Service Board.

Additional Awards & Recognition

  • Recognition Reception Wells’Built Museum of African-American History and Culture R L Burns Inc., Honoree, 2000
  • Central Florida YMCA Black Achievers, 2000
  • Downtown Orlando Partnership, 2003 Golden Brick Award
  • Golden Brick Award for Construction by the City of Orlando, 2006
  • AACC, the African American Chamber of Commerce  Eagle Award, 2007
  • Orlando Business Journal recognized R L Burns Inc. in 2008 as one of Central Florida’s most influential and highest revenue generating minority owned businesses. Bob Burns, Principal and Founder of R L Burns Inc. has been featured in a number of articles giving small business insight on the local construction industry. To date, the RLB team continues to educate businesses, organizations and clients state wide on helpful topics relating but not limited to; construction, expansion, site selection and energy efficient design solutions
  • Nominated for the Onyx Award by Onyx Magazine for accomplishments in Construction, 2009
  • Rising Star award by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) for successes as a prime general contractor. R L Burns Inc. has proudly served GOAA for over ten consecutive years with consistent contract renewal as a continuing contract management firm, 2010
  • Small Business Advocate of the Year award by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority for contributions and successes to the small business community in GOAA related projects and needs, 2012
  • Black Beacon Business Award by the BBIF, 2013
  • R L Burns Inc. Celebrates 20 years, 2014
  • R L Burns Inc. awarded the 2016 BBIF Florida Abraham Lincoln Lewis Award for being an entrepreneur that has a tenacious drive and a commitment to improving the economic condition of the underserved community; and as a business owner who has created a company that has a strong track record of business growth, sustainability, economic impact and success.  Additionally, R L Burns Inc. was honored for the investment the company makes in thecommunity by creating jobs and aggressively hiring, employing, training, and mentoring ethnic minorities and people of color

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