President & CEO
“Employee of the Month”
Kelly Chopus is a social responsibility and philanthropy executive with extensive experience in strategic external relations, corporate giving and community building. She currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Robins Foundation in Richmond, Virginia, where she is responsible for the operations, management and grant making for the one of the region’s largest family foundations. She has been in the role since September 2013.
Most recently Chopus served as Director of Community Relations for Fortune 500® aerospace and defense manufacturer, Goodrich Corporation in Charlotte, N.C. There, she supervised all global philanthropy, community relations and volunteerism. She also served as Vice President of Business Operations for the former WNBA Charlotte Sting from 2002-2005 and as an Associate Producer for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympiad.
In September 2012, Chopus was awarded the 2012 Mover and Shaker Award by Business Leader Magazine. In 2013, The Mecklenburg Times named her one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte, N.C. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards, task forces and committees across the country, including stints as a national board member for the Association for Corporate Contributions Professionals, the U S Airways Education Foundation and regionally for the Southeast Council on Foundations. Most recently, she was elected to the Friends of the Family Committee of the National Center for Family Philanthropy in Washington, DC.
She is the proud wife of a non-profit executive and the mother of three smart, funny and compassionate young adults.
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF
I spent a good amount of time in amateur and professional sports, and community relations and engagement was always a big part of the job. Relationships are key to creating and selling sponsorships and fundraising for the cause. I am a relational person, and I am a connector from way back. When the sports part of my career was over, I assessed those pieces of the jobs I liked best and no surprise, community was the key driver of my job satisfaction. I sort of lucked into philanthropy when I found my way into my first, and last, stint in corporate America. I am really good at walking through doors after another one closes!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
President of the United States; a lawyer; a multi-lingual government operative; a blueberry farmer
What is your favorite thing/place/activity/meal in Richmond?
- Thing: Holiday decorations on Monument Ave as well as all the downtown buildings
- Place: little park overlook at the top of Grace and 22nd East
- Activity: South of the James Farmer’s Market every Saturday
- Meal: That’s an omnivore’s dilemma if I ever heard one
What is your biggest fear or pet peeve?
- Fear: that our work won’t make a difference
- Pet Peeve: tardiness
What is your favorite cereal?
Crunch Berries of course (it’s a sign of vacation in our family!)
Finally, what is the thing you love most about working at Robins?