Aspire Award Recipient 2020 - Robert J. Ross

Sunbeam Family Services has named Robert J. Ross, chairman and CEO of Inasmuch Foundation, as its 2020 Aspire Award recipient. The Aspire Award is presented annually by Sunbeam to Oklahomans who have made significant contributions to support the nonprofit’s mission of providing people of all ages with help hope, and the opportunity to succeed through Early Childhood, Foster Care, Counseling and Senior Services programs.

“I am honored to be named the 2020 Aspire Award recipient,” said Ross. “I became invested with Sunbeam more than 10 years ago when Educare Oklahoma City was a dream for our community. I served as the chairman and led the campaign to raise more than $9 million to build the early education center serving Oklahoma City’s most disadvantaged children and families. Improving the lives of children is vital for our community. I am incredibly proud of the tremendous accomplishments of Sunbeam and appreciate the team that’s in the trenches serving clients every day.”

Ross served two terms on Sunbeam’s board; co-chaired Sunbeam’s $12 million “New Home, Forever Family” capital campaign; and was instrumental in founding Educare Oklahoma City, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

“Bob serves as an ambassador of hope and a champion for our community,” said Sarah Rahhal, LCSW, chief executive officer of Sunbeam. “He is passionate about helping infants and toddlers thrive through access to high-quality early childhood education. Because of his dedication, passion and vision, 10 years ago Educare Oklahoma City opened its doors to provide wraparound services to young children and their families. Since then, Educare has prepared nearly 1,500 children for school, which has enriched their lives and strengthened our community. This innovative, research-based facility was also the springboard for 20 additional high-quality childcare centers in Oklahoma City, reaching 680 young children each year. Thank you for being an advocate for our community, Bob!”

Winners of the Aspire Award are selected by a committee based on their level of service to Sunbeam in support of the nonprofit’s mission. Previous Aspire Award winners include: Jennie and Ric Penner, Patrick and Barbara Hill, Ray and Pat Potts, Ray Bitsche, and Sandy Trudgeon.

The Aspire Award will be presented at the sixth annual Shine a Light gala on April 30 at the Downtown Embassy Suites. The event includes dinner, drinks and inspiring stories of hope, help and opportunity. Guests must be 21 to attend.

Tickets for Shine a Light start at $150. Gala and table sponsorships are also available. For more information, or to purchase a sponsorship or tickets, visit or call (405) 609-1755.