Robbins named museum's Historian of the Year

Alex Doty • Nov 14, 2015 at 9:00 AM

The Tri-Cities Historical Museum has honored local attorney and museum board member Robb Robbins as its 2015 Historian of the Year.

Robbins has served on several museum board committees, and has held the positions of treasurer, vice president and president at various times.

”Obviously, it was a wonderful award to get,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting it.”

Robbins noted that there were many deserving recipients who work and volunteer at the museum who were just as deserving of such an honor.

“It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a village to do wonderful things at the museum,” he said.

A practicing attorney in Grand Haven for more than 25 years and a fan of history, Robbins said he first began serving on the museum board in 2010.

“I wasn’t really involved in the museum,” he said, “and, back in 2009, a friend asked me if I’d meet with him and consider joining the museum board.”

Robbins was soon asked to serve out an unfinished term on the board before being elected to a full three-year term.

“I’ve got essentially one more board meeting and then my successor takes over,” he said.

Robbins has been involved in the selection process for two museum directors, initiated the museum’s new accounting and bookkeeping systems, and was able to provide his legal expertise to guide the museum through obtaining new property on 172nd Avenue in Grand Haven Township.

“I’ve met a lot of people I otherwise wouldn’t have met — a lot of diversity in skill sets, etc.,” he said.

Robbins has one hope as he prepares to leave the board: “The museum just this year acquired a new building — one of Harbor Industries’ former buildings. It’s going to be our collections and resource center. It needs to be brought up to a standard that allows us to protect those (collection) items.“

A fundraising campaign is underway to raise money for needed repairs and improvements to the building.

”If I had one wish as I leave the board, it would be that the community gets behind that campaign for our museum,“ Robbins said. ”I think it’ll be a success, but it means the public will need to take out their checkbooks so we achieve this goal.“

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