L. Robert Stohler (BS'64, MBA'69)
Academy of Alumni Fellows 2012
Bob Stohler founded Bloomington Brands LLC in 2003 and has been its managing partner since its inception. He retired from the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company that same year. Bob is a Visiting Scholar at the Kelley School of Business with responsibility for M579, Experiential Marketing. Popularly known as "Brands", M579 is a two-semester course where half a dozen students manage the Osmocote brand of plant food under contract from The Scotts Company.
At the point of retirement, Bob was responsible for Scotts North America, a $1.5 billion business unit. He initially joined the company as Vice President of its fledgling international division (based in the UK). While there, he identified and negotiated the acquisition of several lawn & garden companies both in the UK and on the Continent. Prior to Scotts, Bob was President of Rubbermaid Europe and resided in Luxembourg. Other international postings include England (SC Johnson) and The Philippines (Procter & Gamble). Sandwiched between these international assignments Bob served as CFO of Synthes North America, a then Swiss-owned company that specializes in orthopedic implants.
With two degrees from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, BS'64 and MBA'69, Bob returned to campus in 2003 and now resides in Bloomington, IN, full-time. He is a member of the School’s advisory boards for the Center for Brand Leadership and the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Bob is also a past President of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business Alumni Association Board of Directors.
As an undergraduate, Bob was a four-year manager of the Men’s Basketball Team under coach Branch McCracken. Four members of that team played professional ball. He participated as both a manager and rider in the Little 500 bicycle classic. In fact, he was the manager of the winning team in 1962 that was later depicted in the film, Breaking Away.
Together with his wife of 45 years, Sylvia Wright Stohler, Bob established a fellowship for ex-military officers who are transitioning to civilian life by pursuing an MBA degree at Kelley. Bob’s own military experience was with the U.S. Navy where he served as an officer aboard the carrier, USS Saratoga.