Gary Robinson graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1972 with a BA degree and High Honors in Finance .2 years later, when his father passed,Gary took over his father’s produce brokerage business, Ruby Robinson Co, Inc., at the tender age of 23. He was able to survive the storm and develop the business into a nationwide enterprise.
In 1991, Gary retired, and kept busy by trading his retirement portfolio and some entrepreneurial-type investments in other businesses and real estate. Having been a 30+ year visitor to Jamaica, Gary found his calling in 2011. On the occasion of his 60th Birthday, he decided to forego personal gifts and instead asked his friends to help him build a climate-controlled computer lab at the Little Bay All Age and Infant School in Westmoreland Parish, in a partnership with Rockhouse Foundation, This very worthwhile project was completed in a matter of a few short months.
This extremely proud moment inspired Gary to create his own nonprofit called Cornerstone Jamaica.While on vacation in Jamaica in Dec, 2011,Gary met social media superstar Alexandra Ostrow Beach
, who shared his passion to attempt to change things in Jamaica for the better.. The first project they collaborated on was to supply top-quality garments throughout the Negril community, primarily children. With the help of Gary’s wife, Cheri, friends in Chicago, and a crew of people in Jamaica led by Terry Williams,Latisha Murray,
and Eujorie Myrie
. this quickly grew from servicing 11 people to 80 to 150, at which time they decided to change direction.
“Handing out fish” was a wonderful thought–but they wanted to accomplish something more sustainable– to”teach people HOW to fish”.. In July of 2013, Gary attended the NAJASO (National Organization of Jamaican And Supportive Organizations) Conference in Montego Bay.. It was there at a Young Professionals Conference that he met accomplished business executives Cassandra Chase, Ryan Davy, Rawl Banton, and Sheldon Dyer, who agreed to join forces in the hopes of creating a great new platform.. Also in the mix was another rising business star, Winthrope Wellington, Managing Director of the venerable Traveller’s Beach Resort on Negril Beach.
Empowerment is what is being preached. Constructing a social media footprint to create a heightened awareness of how other people can help in this beautiful country is also on the short-term horizon for Cornerstone Jamaica.