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Member Spotlight: Mitch Robinson

It is my pleasure to feature Mitch Robinson in the monthly Member Spotlight. I hope you reach out to get to know him better and foster fun relationships in our club. It is not just at this time of year but always that I am grateful for that which l I have been blessed, especially the rewards and friendships I have through Salina Rotary. Brenda O’Gorman, Membership Chair.

Mitch Robinson joined the Salina Rotary Club in 2017 after moving to Salina in December of 2016 from Hopkinsville, Kentucky where he had lived for 3.5 years serving at that community’s director of economic development. While in Hopkinsville, Mitch joined the local Rotary Club. The Hopkinsville Rotary Club has one of the largest Rotary Auctions clearing over $75,000 each year for Rotary programs along with local community projects. The weeklong event has been held over the public television network for the past 10 years. Prior to the television broadcast, the auction has been aired on one of the local A.M. radio stations for forty years. The event has a nightly dinner of either hamburgers, BBQ, chicken and dumplings, fried chicken, or southern fried catfish. The meals, along with donated auction items, raise the bulk of the funds. Rotary week brought everyone down to the community building where the auction is held, or individuals could watch via the local public television network. The auction would be very similar to the auction hosted by the CAPS organization here in Salina.

Mitch grew up in Owensboro, Kentucky which is the 4th largest city in Kentucky located along the Ohio River in the western part of the state. He has one older brother who lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland just outside the District of Columbia. Mitch was involved in Boy Scouts, high school football and church league basketball. He attended Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky where he received a BA in both Government and Economics. During his senior year he had an internship with the City of Bowling Green which helped to develop his career interests in economic development. One afternoon following work he had just left city hall when he heard several guns shots. In turning toward the shots, he saw an escaping man running directly toward him. Without much time to think Mitch grabbed the person and ran out into the street. About that time the deputy sheriff arrived to catch his escaping prisoner who had run away. It was at that time that Mitch decided police work was not a future career option after realizing that getting shot was a possible outcome of dealing with escapees.

Mitch married his high school sweetheart Debbi Cecil following finding employment after college. Debbi has had several Human Resources positions since they have been married. She has been a Human Resources Recruiter for the Schwan’s company for

the past 3 years following the high school graduation of youngest son Bennett Robinson, who is now a senior at Fort Hays State University. He is studying Finance and Marketing. Mitch has two older children. Alex Robinson (age 30) is a project manager for a construction company in Nashville.

He is getting married on November 14th to his girlfriend of six years. They will live in Franklin, TN just south of Nashville. They both graduated from Western Kentucky University where both of his parents graduated from.

Lillian Audrey Robinson (age 28) is the middle child and lives in Denver, Colorado. She is employed by a marketing firm that does product development for the food industry. After college she spent 6 months driving the Planters Peanut mobile up and down the east coast promoting Planter’s Nuts at various events along the east coast. She was able to drive the 18-foot long peanut from Key West up to Maine with her two teammates. Lillian graduated from the University of Missouri – Columbia. Alex and Lillian both graduated from Cape Central High School in Cape Girardeau only one year apart. They were both very pleased to receive the same senior award which made their parents so proud. Funniest Senior was their honor, not Most Likely to Succeed, Honor Graduate, Best Athlete etc. Nine years later little brother Bennett was also so proud of his senior award. Yep, you guested it – Funniest Senior.

Following graduating from Western Kentucky Mitch worked in economic development positions in Mayfield, Hartford, and Henderson, Kentucky. Then to Cape Girardeau, Missouri (home of Russ Limbaugh) then back to Kentucky to Hopkinsville Kentucky. In September 2016, a headhunter contacted Mitch about a new position in Salina, Kansas. Following much discussion and submittal of a resume Mitch visited Salina for his first interview and then Debbi came out for a second visit where he accepted a position following a detailed interview and tour of the community. Since first renting part of a quadplex, Mitch purchased a home after his wife moved here in September of 2017.

In addition to the normal home care activities Mitch and Debbi spend many Saturdays making day trips out from Salina visiting new communities and looking for unique places to visit, eat or find that special antique item.

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