Introducing Robin Gordon as the new director of annual giving
Robin Gordon grew up in northern California, about an hour north of San Francisco. After a career in journalism, community outreach and real estate, she is excited to switch gears and apply her skills to the annual giving role.
When Robin began her studies at San Francisco State University, she was drawn to English, writing and education courses, ultimately landing on journalism as a major. This field spoke to Robin as a practical application of her love of writing and meeting new people.
“I like a lot of different things, like culture and arts, so journalism really fit my personality.”
After graduating, Robin moved back to her home county of Sonoma and became a reporter and writer for a local news group. Assigned to the education beat, Robin covered school board meetings and community events, and had the opportunity to pursue one of her side passions: food writing.
Robin was recognized for an extensive piece she wrote on the foster care system, in which she told the story of a young woman who entered foster care as a child. Robin recalls the piece being one of the more difficult but rewarding stories in her portfolio.
Not only did journalism introduce Robin to interesting people, it introduced her to the one – her husband, Rob. “It was kind of like the Clark Kent story: the journalist meeting the officer.” Rob was a sergeant at the sheriff’s department, and was in the process of securing a grant to help confront a community “shoulder tapping” problem. This occurs when an underage person approaches a stranger outside of a store, asking the person to purchase alcohol on their behalf.
The sheriff’s office was looking to set up a sting operation, and according to the grant’s stipulations, there needed to be a write-up in the newspaper giving the community a heads up. Robin recalls, “We did a four-hour ride along where I got to follow the sting operation and interview him…and the rest is history.” They bonded over a love of traveling to Mexico, going to the beaches of Baja and all things coastal.
Eventually, Robin moved into an editor role for several years before having her two children.
Robin and her family made the move from California to Boise, ID; many northern Californians were moving that way, and the Gordons really enjoyed the weather…in the summer. But after being stuck in the house during a COVID winter, they decided it was time to move somewhere warmer.
Robin liked what North Carolina had to offer, such as four seasons and college basketball. They booked a trip to North Carolina, starting in the Pittsboro area and making their rounds on “a fast and furious weekend.” In her research, Robin read that Holly Springs, NC ranked as one of the safest places to live and was an up-and-coming area. She even liked the humidity. The trip showed them all they needed to see. The Gordons closed on a home and moved to Holly Springs in July 2021.
At the time, Robin was working in real estate, but was looking for a change in scenery. She hoped to find a position that allowed her to collaborate with people in a community-based position, working towards a greater good.
“I’m at a place in my life where I want to give back and do something that really is meaningful work. That’s what drew me to the position.”
After hearing more about the position and how philanthropy looks at Campbell, she was excited to pursue the job. “And then, of course, coming to campus and seeing where I would work every day…it felt like home, like being back in California on the country roads, passing farms. I’m happy to be here.” She is most excited about cultivating relationships and meeting the people who love and support Campbell.
In addition to writing, spending time with her family and entertaining friends, Robin spends as much time as possible in the yoga studio or doing at-home workouts. After moving to North Carolina and hoping to help her son adjust to their new hometown, the Gordons enrolled in a family taekwondo class; fittingly for a Campbell employee, they just earned their orange belt.
One of Robin’s main interests and passions is protecting our oceans. “I’m big into environmental protection and helping keep the earth and oceans clean.” Back West, Robin often visited Baja California to participate in turtle releases through an environmental group, and she belonged to a marine mammal organization in San Francisco that nursed baby marine mammals back to health. As a new east coaster, she is excited to experience and support North Carolina’s beaches.
The office of annual giving and institutional advancement are excited to welcome Robin to the team.