Phil Robinson has always had a passion for service. A senior executive with experience and a positive track record working in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, Phil knows how to bring people together to get things done. Now, Phil is ready to use his passion for service and positive track record of success to work on behalf of working families here in Ohio.
Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Phil saw firsthand how through hard work, sacrifice and dedication, it is possible to live the American Dream. Similar to so many other African American families, both sides of my family migrated from the South to the North. They moved to Ohio for opportunity; they stayed for the community. Phil watched as his parents worked overtime and extra nights to move their family from the inner city to the suburbs and give their children a chance at a quality education and a better life. Phil credits his parents with instilling in him the values of hard work, perseverance and service that he carries with him today.
Those values, paired with a passion for helping others, make Phil a natural fit for work in public service. After graduating from Gilmour Academy, and with the help of an academic scholarship, work-study programs and summer jobs, Phil was one of the few in his family to attend college.
Phil graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Like many of his classmates, Phil was deeply affected by the events of September 11, 2001. Instead of going to work on Wall Street, Phil decided to serve as a congressional legislative aide for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Over the years, Phil would go on to work for both small businesses and Fortune 500 companies, including Powell Tate | Weber Shandwick, Marcus Thomas, LLC and Fleishman Hillar.
After returning back home to Northeast Ohio, Phil eventually left his successful career in the private sector to pay it forward and help eradicate the high school drop-out crisis. Today, he is the executive director and vice president for City Year Cleveland, an education-focused nonprofit that partners with public schools to help keep students in school and on track to graduate. One school increased its graduation rate from 39% to 73% in just five years in seven schools, impacting more than 2,200 students every day.
Under Phil’s leadership, City Year has doubled oversees 78 staff and AmeriCorps members serving its revenue, grown its operation by 20 percent and helped at least A devoted husband and father, Phil is active outside of work in the community. Currently, Phil serves on various boards, including Gilmour Academy, Citizens Leadership Academy, and the United Black Fund. Over the years, Phil has received numerous awards and honors including Crain’s Cleveland Business 2015 Forty Under 40, Pahara NextGen Leader (a program of the Aspen Institute), Crain’s Cleveland Business “Who to Watch in Education,” Leadership Cleveland Class of 2013, Top 25 Under 35 Movers and Shakers by Inside Business Magazine and The George Washington University Hall of Fame in 2001.