FORT WALTON BEACH — Bill Robinson wants people to remember him as a person who did the right thing for the right reason during his 25 years as president and CEO of United Way Okaloosa/Walton.
“That’s what it’s all about. You do what you do because you enjoy it,” Robinson said. “This organization is all about people helping people, and I’ve enjoyed being a part of that.”
Robinson announced his retirement last week first to his eight staff members and then to the board of directors. He said this next week also will be spent letting volunteers with the organization know about the upcoming change.
“I was told once that when it’s time, you’ll know,” Robinson said. “It’s time.”
The Memphis, Tenn., man started his career with the Boy Scouts of America, which brought him to Fort Walton Beach in the late ’70s. A few years later, the opening for United Way’s president opened and the rest, as he says, is history.
Since that time, Robinson says he has seen the nonprofit organization through highs and lows. For him, only the positive memories will remain.
“The good times overwhelm the bad times,” he said. “What I’m most proud of is recruiting a board who saw a vision for United Way in their community.
“There were some concerns over the years with debt and the economy, but it’s always been about the desire to support the community.”
Robinson’s final day will be June 30 — the same month as his 25-year anniversary. He said ideally the board will get a committee together within the next few weeks and Robinson’s successor will be hired by mid-May, giving Robinson time to show his replacement the ropes.
Following his final days with United Way, Robinson said he’s not entirely sure what he will be doing. But he knows staying at home is not an option.
“I’ll drive my wife crazy if I’m at home and she’ll drive me crazy,” he said, laughing. “I’ve always been an advocate for nonprofits, so I’ll be doing some volunteering.
“Exactly what I’ll do remains to be seen, but I’m going to be doing something.”
Contact Daily News Staff Writer Angel McCurdy at 850-315-4432 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @AngelMnwfdn.