Robi was born on a United States Marine Corp base. Having a father as a U.S.Marine has endeared her to respecting the fact that Slab City was once a Marine Corp Training base, Camp Dunlap, at the same time that her father volunteered to “Protect our Country” immediately after the Pearl Harbor Attack.
A college graduate of San Diego State, she majored in Spanish and minored in Portuguese and has an acute understanding of the value of respecting and blending cultures. She returned to college in later years and studied Philosophy, Logic, Website Development, Typography, Social Media Marketing, Script Writing, Special Effects in Movies, and Early Childhood Development with an emphasis on Special Education Teaching Methods. She volunteered at an Autism Center and was involved in Fundraising for that Center.
She has started 3 Corporations and owned several businesses throughout her life. She has two certificates in Communication in the Workplace and Team Building.
“Some of my businesses were profitable, and one or two did not get off the ground…I learned from both experiences. Trying to put together a business from scratch is a good character builder.”
She was a Chief Purser for United Airlines for 22 years. Under that position she completed yearly trainings on Medical Emergencies and Security, including hijackings, terrorist threats, and airplane malfunction emergencies. She was involved in an airline emergency and received an AFA Award for quick decisive actions that resulted in a safe landing for flight crew and passengers.
She completed Command Leadership Resources Training where she learned to identify the series of events that accumulate to lead to a failure of a system. That training shaped her method of thinking to add the “what if” into the planning process then back it out to plan actions to avoid a system breakdown and to effect the most desired results.
“It is this method of thinking that helps me the most in my volunteer work for Slab City Community Group Inc. I encourage my fellow Board Members, and the Members of the Slab City Community to explore the “what ifs” and push for creative ideas to form multiple back-up plans.”
Robi was also involved in the Commercial Real Estate Lending industry during the time the Residential Real Estate Market was imploding. She decided to leave that industry due to witnessing first hand the unethical common practices that led to the collapse.
“There are a good number of people who come to Slab City to catch their financial breath. Slab City is their “bail-out” of sorts. Here they can live as cheap as possible and save to recoup the dignity lost by losing their homes. And some of these people have children.”
Robi was also one of those financial victims as a result of dishonest industry professionals. She suffered a huge financial loss when her signature was forged. Though it hurt to start over financially, Robi has said that finding Slab City has been an educational and healing experience. To see, learn, and share how Slab City Residents and Visitors all live with little resources is empowering. It aligns with her wish for all humans to live smaller, live more efficiently and reduce, reuse and repurpose.
Robi’s favorite motto is:
When someone says,” its broken, just throw it away”…my question is ->”Where IS Away?”