Robert C. Berkley

A transformer of lives and champion of human potential that took him all the way to the White House, Robert C. Berkley, 59, of West Tisbury, Massachusetts, and Naples, Florida, died peacefully at home Monday, December 17, 2018.

For 15 months, he had courageously and unflinchingly powered through a gastric cancer diagnosis, while he continued to work as an executive coach.

Born on September 7, 1959 to Louis and Constance Berkley in Brooklyn, NY the family moved to Woodstock, NY, when Rob was 12 and he became an All-American soccer star at Onteora Central High School.

After graduating from Cornell University, he moved to New York City where he worked as an executive at several major companies including Bankers Trust, Simon & Schuster and Pearson.

At 28, he founded Fusion Systems and developed the first computer trading system sold on Wall Street.

By 1998, he became a pioneer in the field of executive and life coaching by using coaching skills as the CIO of Simon & Schuster and Pearson and by teaching at the first online coaching school, CoachU.

From 2000 until his death, as a master certified coach, Rob worked with the owners and leaders in both public and private companies as the co-founder of GroupMV, LLC, Vision Day® and Women on Fire®. His vast knowledge and keen insight led many clients to call him their personal “Yoda.”

A highlight in his career came in 2016 when he was invited to the White House to help in the transition of President Obama’s staff.

A perpetual learner, Rob studied and became proficient (or a master) at everything he tackled — meditation, hypnosis, NLP, Gestalt therapy training, Jin Shin Jystu and photography.

As his final project in life, he worked with celebrated Martha’s Vineyard photographer Alison Shaw and designer Sue Dawson to publish a coffee table book of his work, “Birds I View.”

In addition to his beloved wife and business partner, Debbie Phillips, he is survived by a brother Richard; half-brother David; nieces and nephews Amy, Rachel, Andrew, Sam and Margaret Berkley; and sister-in-law Robyn Berkley as well as Debbie’s family.

Donations in Rob’s honor may be made to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, PO Box 1748, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568. His extraordinary photography and personal remembrances can be found at: www.sharing.robberkley.com.

At a future date, there will be a celebration of Rob’s life at a boardwalk dedication in his honor at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, FL.

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