So you think you can dance? Probably not as well as Anita Robinson.
Her public achievements are well documented: Founder of Mission Community Bank and the nonprofit Mission Community Services Corp., central figure in the SLO County Housing Trust Fund and Central Coast Economic Forecast, lengthy list of board positions and prestigious awards, and of course, most recently, 2017 Citizen of the Year.
The woman behind those accomplishments is less publicly known. She admits to being a bit shy and less prone to talk than action, but we caught up with her recently and got her to open up about her dance ambitions and affinity for Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. But alas, her guilty pleasures remain top secret – our interim security clearance didn’t cut it.
Favorite toy/pastime growing up?
Growing up in a fairly new suburb of Los Angeles, we spent a lot of time outside on roller skates, bicycles and neighborhood construction sites. I was not much for dolls other than to sew clothes for them or do their hair.
Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee. Historical fiction taking place in early 1900s in Korea, when the Japanese took over Korea, and then through the war. I like to read historical fiction most of the time.
As a long-time supporter of the Mid-State Fair, what’s your favorite thing about the event?
I love going to the concerts and the junior livestock auction. I have always enjoyed seeing a lot of people from the community and being a sponsor.
CLASSIFIED INFORMATION! I used to think drinking wine, but I think that is now more the norm than not.
People being disrespectful of each other. I believe respect is the foundation of all relationships … good or bad.
Movie/TV character you most identify with?
Years ago, my family used to call me “Dr. Quinn” because I did a lot of holistic diets and herbal treatments for them. There was a time when everything was about Melaleuca and my family hated it!
Not sure that this is a quote, but I always have said, “Things do not HAPPEN to you, you create the environment in which things happen.” Used to make my son crazy….
Where do you think your commitment to helping others comes from?
It is about the “hand up” philosophy, in business in particular. I am one who cares about the under dog, the underserved or the less fortunate, but not in handing them everything without providing the tools for them to continue to move in a positive direction and be successful. My family did not have wealth and were very hard working. I did not hear complaining or excuses — rather I watched them push up their sleeves and get done what needed to get done. I like to do the same.
What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
I played classical guitar through high school. I was a dancer (jazz) until I was 32 years old. I had wanted to be a professional dancer as a career (?????). I am relatively shy. I don’t really like being the center of attention and have to train myself to speak before a group. Finally, I am more action oriented than talk oriented. Sometimes that gets me into trouble…
What tops your bucket list?
I want to play guitar again, learn to speak Spanish and go on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage.