CARMEL, CA, May 19, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Robert R. Aurner II is a distinguished biographee of Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are chosen from among a pool of the most prominent professionals and are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Born in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1927, Robert R. Aurner II, the son of Dr. Robert Ray Aurner and Kathryn Dayton Aurner, showed the aptitude for being very driven and focused in all that he chose to pursue. Prior to carving out an incomparable career as a retail development executive, Mr. Aurner served in the Pacific Theater of Operations with the U.S. Navy between 1944 and 1946. After completing military service, he took on-air radio studies at Station WSUI Iowa City at the University of Iowa. Upon concluding those studies, he transferred and completed his undergraduate work in business communications at California State University, Fresno. He further took graduate courses at Cal-Berkeley, Occidental, and Duquesne Universities. While at the University of Iowa, he gained skills in public communications; a skill set that would come in handy later on. Upon graduation, he interned as a booth announcer for WISN CBS Radio in Milwaukee. He was, however, lured out of the radio field and into the sales field by one of the major national advertisers of his program, who offered him a multi-year salary in the field of selling, and thrust into the first of his many career paths.
Satisfying himself as to his true field of interest, Mr. Aurner was attracted to the oil field in the mid-50s, when he joined Shell Oil Company, training for and supervising Shell's San Francisco retail operations. Years later, he was offered the opportunity to serve as director of real estate development in the central coast of California with the Gulf Oil Company, headquartered in San Jose.
Upon the merger of Gulf Oil into Chevron Oil Company, he opted to join the Sunray DX Oil organization in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After tours in Terre Haute, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; and St. Louis, Missouri, he became eastern division manager in South Bend, Indiana — with his office adjacent to Notre Dame University.
Following Sunray's merger with Sunoco, a regional oil company based in Philadelphia, he moved to the City of Brotherly Love, where he was invited by Pillsbury Companies to take over the development in the Northeast United States for Steak and Ale Restaurants of America and the Bennigan's Restaurants chain, covering Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Living up to his reputation as a brilliant mind and exceptional developer, Mr. Aurner laid the groundwork for so many Bennigan's Restaurants and Steak and Ale Restaurants that Pillsbury had to temporarily halt their development. This example serves as a testament to his tenacious work ethic. Outperforming expectations, Mr. Aurner set forth on his next journey. Appearing to be a valuable commodity, Pillsbury transferred him across divisions to the very aggressive Burger King Restaurant division in New York City — and the rest is history. He spent 12 very successful years working for Pillsbury throughout the Greater New York City area, including Fairfield County, Connecticut, leading and consulting on the development of Burger King fast food restaurants in the New York, North New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut regions until the Pillsbury Company was purchased by Grand Metropolitan plc., London, England.
Upon the termination of the development program for Burger King, Mr. Aurner was immediately acquired by PepsiCo Inc. to serve as a specialist in the development of their Pizza Hut Restaurants in Greater New York City, including the five boroughs and surrounding areas, and was selected to concentrate on the development of Westchester County, New York, under the direction of PepsiCo's chairman of the board, upon the completion of which he was authorized to assume total supervision of legal, construction and real estate matters in all of his personal dealings for Pizza Hut.
Looking forward to further positive results in the future, Mr. Aurner was suddenly confronted with serious age-related maladies affecting his parents in California, which, as it turned out, could be handled by nobody but himself. He found it necessary to interrupt his successful efforts in New York City to temporarily return to California to assist in their care, and with great reluctance, he resigned from his position to spend the essential time for the care of his mother and father. "I gave up a wonderful position with a wonderful company and wonderful people, but you have to do what you have to do no matter how disappointing it might be," he says.
However, augmenting his legacy, he returned to New York after temporarily settling his family situation, briefly joining Nathan's Famous, Inc. at their New York City Times Square office as its national director of real estate shortly before his retirement. Nathan's was contemplating opening its franchise program, and they wanted the top person to help write their real estate development manual, after which he retired permanently.
After many years of excellence and insurmountable achievements, Mr. Aurner is very fond of closing out his career with the good folks at Nathan's. "Having had the pleasure of dealing with some of the largest corporations in the world and some of the finest people you could possibly deal with, I have the highest respect for the Nathan's organization, who, though being a small, regional family-oriented company, are scrappy and determined, and in my experience, one of the finest regional marketers of frankfurters and hot dogs in the United States. They have the brains and marketing expertise to market their product to supermarkets and through franchising efforts. And speaking personally, nobody can beat their chili hot dog with cheese!" he says with humor.
In recognition of his contributions to the corporate real estate industry, Mr. Aurner was named a Kentucky Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky. He was also honored as a Commodore in the Oklahoma Navy by Governor Johnston Murray of Oklahoma. Throughout the course of his career, Mr. Aurner has been featured in a wide range of honors publications, including several editions of Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Finance and Industry, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Who's Who in the East, and Who's Who in the World. A respected voice in the finance industry, he previously served as a member of the board of directors with the Carmel Valley (Calif.) Chamber of Commerce. He has been called upon to speak before city councils, boards of supervisors and attorney groups since the inception of his career. He was also instrumental in the successes of Nextel Wireless Telecommunications Corporation's cell-tower development along the Atlantic City Expressway from Atlantic City to Philadelphia. In addition to being named a Lifetime Achiever, Mr. Aurner was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal in 2018.
Outside of his career as a corporate real estate developer, Mr. Aurner has maintained involvement with the Naval Association, USS Yellowstone, the Compari Club of Monterey Peninsula, the Elkhorn Yacht Club of Moss Landing, the Rotary Club of Monterey, and Pacheco Club of Monterey. He is a lifetime member of the Elks Lodge of Monterey, and he cruises the waters of the Monterey Bay and the San Francisco Delta in his boat.
Additionally, Mr. Aurner's hobby of boating has included involvement serving as flotilla commander with the Auxiliary Unit at Coast Guard Station-Monterey as well as past district commander for Northern California for District 25 of United States Sail and Power Squadrons, which includes the San Francisco Bay region. This organization, USPS, is part of the nation's largest civilian boating organization, with headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina. Further, with this organization, Mr. Aurner supervised the USPS representation for five years at the National Boat Show, held annually at Jack London Square in Oakland, California.
With his continued involvement with his college fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, he maintains a low profile, enjoying relaxation on Monterey Bay with his power vessel, the "Bobby Ray," and spending time with his seven children, eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He continues to serve as the president and chairman of the board of his inactive companies: Aurner and Associates Inc., Bristlecone Trading, and Development Inc., and Trader Bob Fashions.
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