After 22 years at the helm of Livingston County Catholic Charities, former director Mark Robinson was given a happy and hearty farewell on Friday as a celebration at Crystal Gardens in Genoa Township marked his retirement.
Community members and coworkers were present to offer their salutes, which included an official Congressional tribute that Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin read into the record on the floor of the House and was presented to Robinson by liaison Mona Shand.
The tribute noted that Robinson had used his “time, talent, and treasure to be the voice of the most vulnerable in our state, including more than two decades at the helm of Livingston County Catholic Charities,” but that he had come far in his journey as a young boy from Detroit attending Catholic school, and then Mercy College, which is now University of Detroit Mercy, and then on to Wayne State University, where he received his Master’s degree in social work.
“Armed with his faith, his education, and a firm commitment to make the world a better place, Mark began his social work career at Boysville, a haven for troubled young men, before taking a position at Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan,” stated the tribute. “Through it all, he rooted himself in his faith, staying actively involved in Christian service at his local parish.
In January of 2001, Mark became the Exec- utive Director of Livingston County Catholic Charities, a post he has held for the past 22 years. In that time, he has used every tool at his disposal to build a team of equally compassionate caregivers and to extend the organization’s reach into the community.”
Among those efforts was “spearheading the county’s first day program for adults with dementia, overseeing the Special Ministries program for adults with developmental disabilities, securing a federal grant for a countywide substance abuse program, providing mental health counseling and foster care services, and ensuring that in all that it does, the organization lives up to its commitment to serve all residents regardless of religious preference, sex, age, ability or finances.”
Slotkin said that on several occasions Robinson had opened up his office for her, and arranged meetings with local leaders so that she could hear from a diverse group of stakeholders.
“While he is retiring from his day job, I know his commitment to the community will never end, because it is who he is,” said Slotkin. “I wish Mark all the best as he begins this new chapter, one I hope will be filled with quality time with his wife, Anne, and his daughter, Sarah. And if it isn’t too much to ask, I wish for a winning season for his beloved Detroit Tigers. I would like to express my gratitude for the self-proclaimed ‘‘city boy’’ who has for so many years faithfully served Livingston County with his whole heart.”
Adam Perry was previously named to succeed Robinson. Perry began his tenure at the end of February.