Supporting herself through college, Robin graduated from NYU in 1984 with a degree in Marketing and Management from the school of Business and Public Administration. Following graduation, she began her professional career in the magazine publishing industry, and started her own business as a budget and planning consultant almost 20 years ago, which she continues today. Her clients include many major publications including the Wall Street Journal, ESPN, National Geographic and Yankee magazine.
Working as a consultant offered Robin the time to use her skills and expertise for the benefit of the community and non-profits. She was one of the founders and Treasurer of Avanse, a start-up art and community center in Haiti that sought to empower youth and entrepreneurial artists. She also was the first President of a professional organizational development consultants group, KCC.
It was not long after moving to Philmont, NY, in Columbia County, that she became very involved in the village, becoming part of the Comprehensive Plan Board, the Main Street Committee Chair, founding President of the Philmont Local Development Corporation, and then elected Village Trustee in 2007. She is a graduate of the Leadership Columbia County, class of 2005. In her role as Village Trustee, she helped lead the charge to keep the Columbia County Board of Supervisors from moving the Pine Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center out of Philmont. The result was that a new nursing home is being built on the site of the current one, and these vital jobs are staying in the village.
In 2009, she ran for Claverack Town Supervisor to bring thoughtful decision making, fresh energy and listening to the role. During Robin’s upstart campaign, she knocked on almost every one of Claverack’s 2,000+ doors to understand what mattered to her neighbors. Through this grassroots approach Robin won the election and became the first female Town Supervisor in Claverack’s history, as well as the first Democrat elected in 35 years.
As Supervisor, Robin has worked tirelessly to improve the life of her constituents and the responsiveness of their town government. She began by setting up an updated website, allowing residents to directly review the budget, tax bills, zoning information, and meeting agendas. Additionally, she constructed email lists to enable cost-effective and timely communication to town residents, along with setting up Advisory Committees which have allowed more people to be involved in the town process and initiate new developments.
Robin is most proud of her efforts to stimulate the local economy and keep taxes low. Despite state mandated increases of 100% in pension fund contributions in the last three years, and contractual commitments from the prior administration, as well as other increased costs and decreasing revenues, Robin was able to keep the tax levy under the 2% cap. Robin also has saved the town money through winning grants. Claverack has received over $25,000 in grants which enabled the town to undertake vital projects, without burdening the taxpayers.
As a Columbia County Legislator on the Board of Supervisors, after her first year, she was appointed as Deputy Minority Leader, as well as Deputy Chair of the Health/Medical Committee. She also sits on the Economic Development/Agriculture; Insurance; Negotiations; and Budget and Salary Committees.
In 2012 Robin had the distinct honor of speaking at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, on the Empowerment of Women and the Eradication of Poverty. You can read her speech here.
Robin grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her parents were both involved in social work and counseling, so she has long known the value of listening. She has lived in Philmont, within the town of Claverack, in the heart of Columbia County since 1998, with Chris Lastovicka and their cats. In 2011, on their 15th year anniversary, Chris and Robin married after the passage of the Marriage Equality Act. Chris is a composer and web designer. When she can, Robin also loves to sing.