Carolina Raptor Center

Hi! Meet Robert of Carolina Raptor Center. CRC is dedicated to environmental stewardship and the conservation of birds of prey through education, research, and the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned raptors. I had the opportunity to sit with Robert, learn more about CRC, his interest in organic gardening and how he wishes everyone would just slow down a bit and appreciate the small things. I wish I had scheduled our meeting to be a bit longer. He’s awesome.

Robert is also sharing the photo with his favorite raptor over at CRC, “Pishi” (short for “Pishimatakoa,” meaning rainbow in Comanche). Pishi is a King Vulture, the largest of the new world vulture species. King Vultures are native to Central and South America, from southern Mexico to Argentina.

Make sure you check out the bottom of the Q&A. I’ve attached to flyers to the CRC’s upcoming events. They both sound awesome.

What is your passion?

I’m going to say the outdoors. That’s why I love working at the Raptor Center. I love being outside. My biggest thing right now is I’m really into organic gardening. Imagine in uptown I have about this much space {measures about 2×5 feet with hands} and I’m doing my own gardening. I have tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers of all different varieties and I had a watermelon that didn’t make it. A little disappointed about that. I grew up gardening with my grandparents and my dad so that was always one of my favorite things to do. It got me in touch with the earth. It got me outside and got me doing a little bit of work. Anything outdoors is really where I want to be.

What frustrates you?

That’s a hard question. I’m not easy to phase. I guess the one thing that really gets me, at least here in Charlotte is that people are so busy that they don’t take time for the small things in life. I’m glad that Charlotte does still have a little bit of it’s small southern charm but I’m starting to feel like people are just running, running, running and they’re started to miss the small things. Things as simple as smiling as people passing by and saying hello. I grew up in a small town in the South so I always appreciated knowing everyone in the neighborhood and talking with them. Not everybody takes that time these days.

What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?

Don’t rush it. Ten years ago I thought my career would not be where it is. I didn’t think I’d be living in Charlotte. I was so quick to model my life after my friends because they were all about being successful and getting stressful corporate job. I was really stressed out about not being at that place in my life and that was right out of school. So I was in such a hurry to be that alpha successful person and I’m glad I took it a little slower because now I’ve come to appreciate where I am in life. I never would’ve gotten into non-profit work if I hadn’t have taken the path that I would and I don’t believe I would’ve been happy.

If I gave you $10,000 right now what would you do with it?

Phew. What can I do with ten grand? I’d probably take half of it and give it the Raptor Center for a really cool need. That sounds a little contrived but I’m not really sure what I would do with it. I mean I’d probably go on a really awesome trip. I’ve never been to Italy and Greece. Those are the two places I’d really like to go and funny enough I’ve had trips booked there twice and had to cancel both of those trips. I’d probably make that happen.

Scott Lundgren asked you to describe your perfect day.

My perfect day? So I’d wake up in the morning and I get to meet five new people that day. I love meeting new people. Going to work and doing my desk job can be fun but the biggest thing I like to do in my day is get out and go meet with new donors. Really figure out why they support this organization. I think if I could do that five fold I’d be very successful. Otherwise just going to the gym, get a yoga class in and have an amazing dinner with a really nice bottle of wine.

Christie Kahil asked who do you look up to and why?

There are so many people I could pick. I would have to say Chase Law. She’s over at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Before that Discovery Place. Chase is an amazing mother. She is a kickass development professional. She knows what she’s doing. She always has strategy behind what she is doing. She gets to know people really well and she’s just a mover and a shaker in the community. She’s awesome.

You can find Robert making things happen over at the Carolina Raptor Center. Below are two flyers to upcoming events taking place at the Center. Check them out!



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