Bob & Suzy Roach
“We were so thrilled to be living in Chico that Bob and I decided we needed to “give back”. We may have arrived in 1976, but Chico is our home town—when we leave this world it would be comforting to know we made a difference.” —Suzy Roach
Bob and Suzy Roach moved to Chico from the Bay Area in 1976, fell in love with the town, and immediately decided two things: that they wanted to stay and that they wanted to get involved and give back to the community.
The following year they opened a PIP Printing franchise on Mangrove Avenue. Although it was the second-smallest PIP in the country, within a year they were breaking records, which they attribute to “…finding a need and filling it. It’s all about service, service, service.”
But service extended beyond the business. Before long, Suzy was involved with organizations ranging from the Rock-a-Bye Auxiliary of the Children’s Home Society to Omega Nu. She has been on numerous boards, including the Enloe Foundation and CSUC President’s Advisory Board. Her tireless involvement in the community over the past 33 years has earned her many awards, including the Woman of the Year for the First Assembly District (1988); the Pat Lapin Award from the Chamber (1989); and the Rotary’s Community Service Award (2000). Suzy also served as president of the Chamber in 1988, only the second woman to have done so in fifty years.
“Suzy did the Chico stuff; I did the PIP stuff,” says Bob, who was active with the PIP franchise on a national level, and was head of the Marketing and Advertising Steering Committee the year PIP won a Clio Award (advertising’s equivalent of an Emmy). He was chair of the President’s Advisory Committee for PIP Printing, served as emcee for PIP’s national convention, and was named Outstanding Franchisee in the nation. Closer to home, Bob was on the founding board for CEPCO, and is also on the board for Rotary and for the Turner Museum. An avid duck hunter, he is a member of Ducks Unlimited and the California Waterfowl Association.
The Roaches grew up in the Bay Area and married in 1961. When the draft began to heat up, Bob joined the Air Force, serving at Vandenberg Air Force Base in the Minuteman Missile Squadron during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He went on to serve in Vietnam (for a year) and in Honolulu, Hawaii. He resigned his commission after nine years, after a final assignment teaching ROTC at San Francisco State. Bob likes to say that his experience in the Air Force ran the gamut from ICBM missiles to prop-driven aircraft to flower children at SF State—and that although he joined the Air Force to see the world, he never got east of Reno!
After the Air Force, Bob accepted a sales manager job for AB Dick in Chico. Suzy says they jumped at the chance to “move our children to a different way of life.” She immediately applied for a job as a health aide at Citrus Elementary, feeling it would be “a good way to meet people and be connected with our boys’ school.” Not surprisingly, she worked far more hours at the job than she was paid for. “It was the best $100 a month they ever spent,” she says.
The Roaches’ two sons graduated from Chico High, and both went on to earn an MFA. Suzy credits retired CHS art teacher Mike Simpson as “a huge inspiration in their lives—he recognized their talent and encouraged and mentored them.”
Recently, Bob and Suzy sold PIP Printing, and are looking forward to more time with their children and grandchildren. If anyone embodies the spirit of this community, it is this couple. We are indeed fortunate that they have chosen to call Chico home.