Meet Robin Robinson: Administrator of Initiatives and Grants

Meet Robin!  

Robin began her career with United Way MV in January of 2012, with over 20 years of experience in the Human Service field. She considers herself a servant of the community, and gravitates towards those who also lead with compassion, advocacy, leadership, and service. Her career started off as a direct service provider working with adults struggling with mental health conditions. From there, Robin has advocated in court for adults with mental health conditions, discovered her passion of advocating for abused and neglected children, and even worked with the staff at the White House to discuss the Affordable Care Act and Child Care tax credits. 

Much of Robin’s previous experiences and knowledge prepared her for the work she does at United Way, and leads her towards more impactful outcomes. Her combined Management degree from Cazenovia College and Psychology degree from Utica College serve her well in her mission to identify, understand, and oversee the need for community change.

United Way is a leading problem solver, innovator, and connector in the Mohawk Valley. Robin believes that “connection is key”, as she brings together multiple organizations and agencies to discuss and implement solutions. As a connector on the United Way team, Robin oversees the R4K (Ready for Kindergarten) initiative and says “R4K is a collective impact model that includes a 70 member committee, three sub-committees (advocacy, research and a transition summit), along with data collection from 24 out of 25 school districts. Then, the expansion of a Family School Navigator model started in Dolgeville and expanded into eleven additional elementary schools. More than 1,300 children ages 0-5 and their parents receive resources, referrals and services to address their barriers each year and increase the percentage of children entering Kindergarten better prepared.”

When asked why she likes to work for United Way, Robin says “Every day is so different at United Way. You have to be adaptable and embrace change, two skills I appreciate having. A combination of micro and macro levels plays into each issue, decision and solution. You are an individual, a co-worker and a member of a successful team! United Way has allowed me to convene the community, listen to the needs and identify the unmet needs. I've had the privilege to speak with a wide diversity of community members from the city neighborhoods, to the suburbs and vast rural areas. I've been honored to work with leadership and policy makers. Most importantly I was provided with the opportunity to affect lives (hopefully) in a positive way!” 

Some fun facts about Robin are: 

  • Robin worked as an employee of a United Way funded program, and attended workplace campaign meetings alongside United Way staff, before she was actually a UW staff member! 
  • She has lived in California, and while she appreciated the scenic views of the West Coast, she prefers the lush green trees and sense of belonging that the Mohawk Valley brings her. 
  • As a project during quarantine, Robin stained her wrap around porch. She says “It provided me time to reflect and quite frankly, quieted things down during a time of information overload”
  • If she could have lunch with one person, it would be her mother, Renee, just for the chance to hear her voice, share all of the family accomplishments, and let her know how influential she had been and express the love given and received. 
  • Her favorite quote to live by is “work hard, play hard, travel light!”

Would She Rather? 

We asked Robin some “Would you rather” questions, and here’s how she answered:

She would rather never have to stand in a line again, than have every traffic light be green.  

She would rather live on a sailboat than in an RV. 

She would rather see into the future of anyone else, than be able to see 10 minutes into her own future. 

She’d rather have unlimited airline tickets than never have to pay at a restaurant again.  

If she had to choose between a donkey and giraffe for a mode of transportation, she would pick a giraffe. 

She’d rather teleport anywhere than be able to read minds.