Robert Rogers is a financial advisor and senior vice president at Hefren-Tillotson, where he’s worked for the last 11 years. Robert, his wife, their 10-month old son, and their dog live in Wexford.
How did you choose your career path?
I went to Allegheny College, and my freshman year I thought I wanted to teach math. So, I loaded up on math classes, but once I got to a certain level of math, it felt too abstract. I then switched to economics. Economics has a lot of math in it and was more applicable to what I enjoyed. The summer after my junior year, I had an internship at Hefren-Tillotson and they offered to hire me full-time after college. So, two weeks after graduation I started working there, and it’s been a great place to work.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
A lot of the time I’m helping people through a big transition and/or difficult time in their life, whether it’s retiring, selling a business, dealing with the loss of a parent or getting a divorce. It’s a rewarding job and it’s great when people really see the value of what we do and how we help them. The more the relationship forms, they become less of a client and more of a friend. It’s a great job to have if you want to build meaningful connections with people.
What are your hobbies?
Right now, I spend most of my time with my 10-month-old son. He’s changing quickly and he’s at such a fun age. In the summer, the thing I enjoyed most was coming home from work and taking a walk with my family. I also like to run and have done a couple half-marathons here in Pittsburgh, and I enjoy playing sports. I played basketball in high school and into college, and still play competitively when I can. My wife and I have started playing pickleball as well.
Are you native to Pittsburgh?
Yes, and more specifically I’m a native of the North Hills. I now live about 15 minutes away from where I grew up, and my parents live close by as well as all of my siblings.
What do you like most about the city?
I like that the city offers so much. I love seeing the little pockets that all have their own identity. We have great restaurants, everywhere from Lawrenceville to Shadyside to Wexford. I’m big into the sports teams, too. My family goes to Steelers games, and I make it to some Pirates and Penguins games. My wife and I love the Cultural District and enjoy going to the symphony and plays. I’ve made a lot of great friends here, and I’m loyal and proud to be from this area.
How did you get involved with United Way?
Hefren-Tillotson has a strong culture and history of philanthropy and giving. It’s really encouraged here, and I’ve developed my desire and passion for it through working here. I first got involved through our United Way campaign when I worked in our financial planning department, which was tasked with planning the campaign. It was fun planning it — we put together some videos and did a big campaign event. The last two years, I’ve been running the campaign with another one of my co-workers. Through that, I’ve been asked to serve on various committees, like the Impact Committee for people with disabilities. Whenever I’m asked to help, I always try to. United Way does a great job, and I imagine I’ll always be involved with them in some way.
In your opinion, what makes United Way unique?
The Impact Fund and the Impact Committee make them unique. I’m a loyal and proud Pittsburgher, and I like knowing there’s a fund through United Way that I can give money to and know that it will be disbursed in a way that best benefits the region. United Way vets organizations and they make sure the money is being used appropriately, which I like. With a lot of other places you might not know where the money is going or what impact your money’s making, but the Impact Fund handles all of that and I think that’s what sets United Way apart from other organizations.
Do you have a favorite United Way memory?
I have a lot of great memories from United Way but a few that stand out involve volunteering with children. I have participated in the United Way Build-a-Bike and Games for Good events and had a blast putting together bikes for kids and teaching them about being active and leading a healthy lifestyle. Seeing the smiling faces of children really will make your day.
Why do you believe in community involvement?
I feel very blessed. I grew up in a really good situation with a supportive family. My wife and I have always felt that we need to give back — to share what we’ve been blessed with. I know a lot of people go through tough times, and I believe we’re all in this together. The whole human element of community involvement is really important to me. I believe that if you have, you really should give.