Robert L. Severns (1928 - June 17, 2003) is also known as 'Bob Severns'. He was born in Illinois and worked for Corning. In 1958 he moved to California and soon later before he became the president and CEO of Sierra Chemical Company.
Robert Severns was involved in the establishment of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI) in Redwood City (CA) and, together with Eugene Ravizza and the late Bruce Thompson, he formed AdTI's first corporate board in 1989.
In that same year he sold Sierra Chemical for a nine-figure price to W.R. Grace. Sierra Chemical is now a division of the Scotts Company.
He founded the Severns Family Foundation (www.severnsfoundation.org) when he retired in 1991. In 2002, the foundation donated $175,000 to the Lexington Institute and contributed $50,000 to the Univeristy of Illionois where Mr. Severns graduated.
In 1993 he joined the Advisory Board of the Community Foundation Silicon Valley (CFSV).
He remained a director at AdTI until approximately 1996 or 1997. Mr. Severns was also involved in starting the Lexington Institute which was founded in 1998 by his friend Merrick Carey. For several years before that Mr. Carey was the president of the AdTI. In November 2003 the Lexington Institute posthumously bestowed its Lexington 2003 Leadership Award on Robert Severns.
- "Obituaries, Robert L. Severns", Mercury News, June 22, 2003
- "Robert L. Severns, RIP", Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, June 27, 2003
- "A legacy for the next generation, Bob Severns' focus on education continues", Community Foundation Silicon Valley, July 10, 2003
- "2003 Leadership Award, Robert L. Severns", Lexington Institute, November 2003