Although born in Cedar Rapids, Bob and his family moved to Ames when he was five because his father purchased a floor covering store there.
Bob had a great role model in his father growing up who was committed to community and served as Chamber of Commerce president in Ames’s Centennial year. That same year, when Bob was only 12, his father passed away, but his father’s influence helped to shape the rest of Bob’s life.
After graduating from Ames High School, Bob worked three jobs to pay his way through college at Iowa State and managed to graduate in 3 ½ years. Prior to graduation, he took the CPA exam and passed the entire complex exam on the first try underscoring his brilliance, courage and drive.
Bob’s drive and persistence have not only led to the success of his business but also helped him win the girl of his dreams and love of his life, Susie. Bob was a flower delivery boy through high school and college and would occasionally run into Susie on the ISU campus. She would ask Bob if the flowers he was delivering were for her. Although he always said no, she always ended up with flowers on her doorstep. When he finally asked her out for a date, she said yes, and three months later they were engaged. Bob’s drive and persistence certainly paid off.
In 1977, Bob returned to Iowa from Oklahoma and purchased a bookkeeping business in Waterloo from his great uncle. Several years later, Bob hired John Adams, who later became a partner, and together they formed Heaton & Company.
Bob’s profound love of trains and history intersected in 1985 when he and John purchased the dilapidated Rock Island Railroad train depot in downtown Waterloo. Heaton Adams and Company was formed at the time of the Depot’s restoration and soon became one of the largest CPA firms in the community. In 2001, Bob founded Heaton Adams Financial Services LC to broaden the scope of financial planning and investment services to their clients. In July of 2014, Heaton Adams Financial Services was renamed the Heaton Hoppes Group doing business as Cedar Valley Wealth Advisors and the group moved to a new location in Cedar Falls. Bob holds integrity to the highest regard, not only as a priority and component of his profession, but as a core value to him as a whole. He feels it is part of his character. His mantra is “do the right thing for the right reason.”
Bob’s leadership has been pivotal for both his business and for the Cedar Valley and he has been involved in a plethora of community projects, boards and commissions. He is happy to dig in and get things started, then put the right people in place and step back to let them run with the project. This leadership style is most noted as a founder of both Cedar Valley Hospice and Silos and Smokestacks, now a National Heritage Area of the U.S. National Parks Service. Additionally, two of his proudest memories involve his tenure as chair of the Waterloo Airport Commission where he was instrumental in building the airport’s first corporate hanger, launching the MidPort America Industrial Park, and chairing the first My Waterloo Days “Wings Over Waterloo” Airshow.
Bob has certainly made an impact on his business and on our Cedar Valley community, but he touts his greatest success as raising two amazing children, Cassi and Donny. And now he gets to enjoy life as “Grandpa” to his grandsons, Ashton and Braden.