Reformer Prophet


Airdate: October 2, 2017

Kelly Chopus is an instigator of connection and change. She is CEO of the Robins Foundation, a family foundation that seeks to lead transformational change for children and families in greater Richmond, Virginia. Kelly has had an extensive career in philanthropy, community engagement, corporate communications, community building and professional and amateur sports management. She previously served as Director of Community Relations for the Goodrich Corporation and directed operations for the Goodrich Foundation. She was Vice President for Business Operations of the WNBA Charlotte Sting and an associate producer of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympiad. She is a graduate of Colby College.  

This episode is perfect for anyone interested in the rewards and challenges of foundation-led philanthropy and a life of taking risk for the public good. 


  • Kelly explains the strategic focus of the Robins Foundation and her approach to community engagement and transformational change.

  • She shares what the ghost of Christmas future has to do with her work.

  • She describes the city of Richmond, how she sees her role, what keeps her up at night, what she does well and what she could do better.

  • Kelly talks about the challenge at the heart of philanthropy and the most important change that must be made.

  • She reflects on growing up in Connecticut and the origins of her mission-based consciousness.

  • Kelly talks about Salt Lake City, the Winter Olympics, the WNBA and a key lesson she learned in sports management.

  • She shares a powerful memory from her time at the Goodrich Corporation and how it impacts her today.

  • Kelly reveals what motivates her, the crossroads she is facing, and the most important thing in life she teaches her children.

plus Mark's Personal Word Essay: Missionary Zeal

To Learn More About Kelly


  • What struck you about Kelly's comments?

  • What grants would you give?

  • How do you convene change?

  • What opportunities do you see in the place you live?

We invite your posts on our Facebook page.

This episode is sponsored by Blumenthal Performing Arts, celebrating its 25th year presenting the best in performing arts.