MVP Spotlight
Bob Umlas
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Bob Umlas

United States
Bob Umlas’ license plate reads “ExcelMVP.” Now in his 20th year as an awardee, Bob was introduced to the spreadsheet technology in the mid-1980s at a meeting hosted by Microsoft in New York City. He remembers thinking, “Boy, I should buy about 100 shares of this company.” That was it; he was hooked.

Since then Bob has made a career as a leading expert in Microsoft Excel. In fact, the instruction manual to one of the first versions of Excel had an addendum listing about 15 people you could call for product help, and Bob was among them.

It’s no surprise, then, that Bob was among the first community leaders to be named as an MVP.

Bob has been to every MVP Global Summit he was invited to, including one of the first, which had only about 25 attendees. He recalls going on a boat ride around Lake Washington with a couple hundred MVPs and Bill Gates during one of the early Summits, and also remembers participating in a contest to name Bill Gates’ son. Nominations included “Iron Gates” and “Pearl E.” Bob recalled the winner took home a nice suede jacket with the entry “C++.”

Throughout his career, Bob has been a contributing editor to the monthly magazines on Excel The Expert and Inside Microsoft Excel, an in-house data expert, a presenter at Tech-Ed and continues to serve as a frequent speaker at Excel User Conference meetings. He also teaches an online Master Excel class and is the author of the popular, Excel Outside the Box. In addition, he’s written This Isn’t Excel, It’s Magic and more than 300 articles on all aspects of Excel.

If you’d like to catch up with Bob, he plans on attending the 2013 MVP Global Summit, and he will be presenting at an Excel User Conference May 8-10 in Las Vegas. For more information, email