River City Six: Michael Robinson
Established in 1997 by the Notre Dame Sisters. Notre Dame Housing (www.ndhinc.org) is a non-profit government affordable housing agency that provides service-enriched affordable tax credit and subsidized housing and supportive services to low-to-moderate income seniors. Michael Robinson is the Executive Director of Notre Dame Housing.
How did you get started in the business?
Having been raised in Camden, NJ, one of the poorest and most dangerous cities in America, has fueled my passion to help others. I attended grad school at UNL and majored in Urban Studies with an Emphasis in Community and Economic Development. I was previously employed by Family Housing Advisory Services for 8 years, working to stabilize the lives of individuals and families through comprehensive housing and financial counseling services. In March of 2016 I made the shift to a position where I’m now helping to address the needs of seniors through service-enriched affordable housing.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Life is full of challenges and without challenge it can become boring. Earlier in my professional career I struggled with delegation. I am not sure if it had anything to do with being an only child, but as the saying goes, ‘Many hands make less work.’
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
I feel it’s yet to come. I am always looking to achieve more tomorrow than I did today, striving to improve myself all the time.
Tell me a little about your family.
I have been married to Natasha Robinson, who is a mental health therapist at Boys Town, for 15 years. We have three children: Isaac (14), Leah (8) and Ava (3); two of whom attend St. Patrick’s Catholic School in Elkhorn. Family is everything to me.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
Losing my grandmother last fall to cancer. She was and continues to be my rock. She’s also the reason I’m so passionate about providing affordable housing and supportive services to low-to-moderate income seniors.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Relax and listen to music.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
I was a 1996 track and field All-American in high school. Our 4×200 meter relay team at Woodrow Wilson High School had the fastest time in the nation.
What are you the most proud of?
My wonderful family and friends.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Old ways won’t open new doors. We have to keep evolving as individuals.
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
The ability to eliminate homelessness and poverty.
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life?
Graphic design and videography.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Fluency in Spanish.
What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
Family Housing Advisory Services. The organization provides housing and financial counseling for individuals and families who face financial hardships, ensuring that future generations are better prepared.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be?