As “The Voice of Barrington”, you’d think our quintessential host, Bob Roig, has been here his entire life. He’s a perfect fit as our funny, delightful, and talented emcee at gala fundraisers, cruise nights, and at the upcoming Barrington Breakfast Rotary live TV fundraiser on May 22. Most everyone in Barrington knows Bob Roig as “Bob the DJ”. But he’s not from here. And that’s most likely the secret to his success.
Roig’s father was a highly successful cereal chemist, following job projects where he was needed. He invented the panko bread product in Japan, products for Dunkin’ Donuts, Jello, and he introduced American-style muffins in Australia. He was humble, a role model. Mom was a five-foot tower of French personality and energy. The family lived on the East Coast, in the Midwest, and Australia. In total, Roig lived in more than 25 different places.
Roig spent time producing beats and mixing tape tracks in his teens, influenced by the talented (and hilarious) musical siblings around him. He blended and recorded his own songs. Today, that translates into running the sound on local events with precision.
What sets Roig apart from other emcees is his expertise in knowing how to read people one-on-one or in a large audience when performing. Living around the world offered him a chance, or perhaps created the need, to learn how to truly listen and keenly observe people’s communication styles—how to make them comfortable in conversation. Roig’s communication “DNA” is the perfect mixed-tape for Barrington, a diversified community of people from many places who he can relate to.
On the job, the social impact for Bob the DJ is not fleeting. His role within community events touches people more deeply than he realized. At Barrington Cruise Nights, Roig was not considered “just a guy there”, but a member of an extended family. He helped carry the event from season to season. When a regular participant passed away, Roig received a call from the family, saying that their father truly appreciated his presence and that they wanted him to know. It took years to realize how people felt about him, Roig says. That’s welcome feedback for someone who truly loves his community.
Here are some words that others shared about Bob Roig
Paul Corwin, Friend
Every now and then you have the opportunity to meet someone that has an impact on who you are, and what you do. Bob is one of those people. I first met Bob at one of those Thursday night antique car shows in Barrington. This smooth voice came over the P.A. system announcing that you can win a prize if you know the answer to the following musical trivia question? What group sang, “Red Rubber Ball”? I ran to the booth, said it was the “Cyrkle” with bated breath. I received a coupon for an ice cream cone but more importantly, I won a friend for life.
Bob was instrumental, no pun intended, in helping me and the Village of Barrington change the way we celebrated our patriotic holidays. Bob and I jokingly referred to ourselves as the “Rodgers and Hammerstein” of patriotic events. Bob brings a level of style and professionalism that makes these events tug at the heartstrings of all the people in attendance. Working with Bob is infectious. His enthusiasm, passion, and a deep love for our country, the Village of Barrington, and especially our veterans makes us all proud to be Americans. Bob, keep up the great work and thank you for a job well done.
Scott Hansen, Friend
I first met Bob over a decade ago at a Village-sponsored event. I was new to Barrington and within minutes he made me feel welcome. His selfless personality creates connections with just about everyone—young or old, new, or life-long residents—by asking questions to engage them in conversation. What makes him unique is that he connects with people without talking about himself. Bob is selfless and always eager to help. He has a gift of being the amplifier of all good things within the Barrington area such as events, shops, restaurants, and services. Bob loves his community and truly is Barrington’s goodwill ambassador. As the “Voice of Barrington”, he also can provide a bit of history about local buildings, streets, or businesses. Bob is a treasure to the Barrington community, and we hope that for years to come he keeps on “Doin’ it to it”!
Patty Dowd Schmitz, Friend and Colleague
I have worked with “Bob the DJ” since 2007 when we first met at the inaugural Barrington Concours d’Elegance. Bob’s impressive announcer voice, professionalism, and ability to improvise any announcement on the fly and make it sound like it had been planned long in advance really impressed me. That day solidified a long-term working relationship that would last through dozens of charity events, galas, and now, Village of Barrington events, from Cruise Nights to the 4th of July parade, Santa’s arrival, and more.
Bob and I have been a great team over the years, and I always know that when Bob is on the scene, the event will be elevated to a much higher level of polish, professionalism, and engagement for the crowd. Bob truly is the Voice of Barrington, and no event is complete without him. On a personal level, Bob and I have been friends for 14 years, and I always know that when I’m with him, my sides will ache from laughing so hard. He is sharp-witted, quick with a joke for every occasion, and a master storyteller. But what I love most about him is his ability to connect with people on every level. He is the epitome of a people person, always talking to people, engaging them, and drawing them in. Barrington is a much better place because he is in it.
Bob Roig in his own words
You’ve lived in so many places. Are there any you would have liked to try? Romania. The country is so gorgeous. Do you have any items on your bucket list? So many it’s silly. The problem is being able to find the time or the money to be able to do them. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Peace. In mind and in heart. Share your funniest experience. One of them would have to be when I was a 12-year-old kid in my crazy French uncle Harry’s car while he was driving along the Ventura freeway with my parents following in the car behind us. While in the third of four lanes of a jam-packed freeway, my uncle slams on the brakes to a complete stop on an overpass, gets out of the car (while other cars and trucks rifle passed, honking horns, and swerving around us), runs to my Dad’s car, and as my panicking father rolls down the window, my uncle points and shouts…” Do you want tacos!? There’s a great little place right over there that has great tacos!”. I’m just happy to be alive to tell that story. Which living person do you most admire? Sadly, the people that jump to my mind of whom I admire most have all passed on. Of anyone living, my father-in-law stands out the most to me because he has traits that remind me a lot of my father, who was an amazing man. Is there a historical figure you most identify with? Not sure if he is considered historical, but Bob Hope. He was funny and really did great things for so many people. I aspire to be like him. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Unfortunately, as a DJ and MC, some clutch phrases get stuck in the form of announcements, even when I know they drive me nuts. “At this time folks…” is probably the one I overuse the most. What trait do you deplore in others? Hypocrisy. Who is your favorite TV or radio personality? Of all time, Johnny Carson. Gracious, funny, and respectful. What’s your greatest achievement in life? That would have to be raising my children. What characteristic do you hope you’ve imparted to your children? My sense of humor and more importantly, appreciation. Recognizing the wonders and blessings of life and all their experiences, while enjoying through laughter. Do you have a favorite song? IMPOSSIBLE! Hahaha. Music for me is my definite love and passion, in every direction. To choose one as my favorite would be an internal conflict for me. How do you prep for a live event as the emcee? Research, practice perceived scenarios, and then remind myself to relax and calm down so I can be observant and focused as things are happening and present themselves to me in real time. What do you most value in close friends? The same things hopefully that I give. Respect, loyalty, and a sense of genuinely caring. What’s your personal motto? Stop being so handsome! Ok, definitely NOT that, LOL. Be there for others and go the extra mile, or two.
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