How long have you been at Transurban?
Rob (R): Since May 2007.
What is your role at Transurban?
R: I work on the development of new toll road assets, and recommend how to improve performance on existing assets using models and conducting studies of local traffic flow.
How are you involved in the community – do you volunteer, sit on a board, make donations?
R: I volunteer my time in a number of areas at a local church in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Currently, I'm a Youth Leader for the 8th and 9th grade age group. The program is called "Journey to Adulthood" and is designed to help teens make the transition as a good citizen into young adulthood. Our youth typically spend a week each summer helping with outreach projects such as Habitat for Humanity. These are great trips because the kids realize that not everyone is as fortunate as they are.
There is a pilgrimage event that also occurs the summer after 9th grade, and this past year's trip location was Montana. I chaperoned eight teens along with two other adults on a trip to Yellowstone and the Rocky Mountains. The teens led the pilgrimage planning and celebrated their accomplishments in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.
What else are you involved in?
R: I also am also in charge of helping to organize several musical events throughout the year. For example, I assist with the annual Country Fair which occurs on the first Saturday in October. This event is the same as any general fair, with moon bounces, craft tables and raffles. I am in charge of organizing the musical entertainment portion of the event.
Throughout the year, I also help organize "Family Music Nights" which are outings where 30 to 50 people gather together, eat a potluck dinner and listen to different people of all ages play music and sing. It is really a nice bonding experience across generations.
Of all my activities, I especially enjoy the musical component. I'm able to see the kids grow and gain confidence in themselves on stage over the years. Every aspect of my volunteering makes up a part of my identity – when I see people in the community that I know, it is always nice to reflect on shared experience. I've created relationships with people of different age groups but the 13-14-year-olds best fit my personality, which is why I lead that age group.
Why are you involved in the community?
R: I am a strong believer in mentoring others. When I was a teenager, a few people outside of my immediate family took time to mentor me in different areas, and it made a huge difference in my life. Donating my time to the kids and the church is my way to give back. I feel very lucky to have a great family and friends and I want to return the favor to people in my neighborhood the way others have before me.
Why do you think that it is important to be involved?
R: I've always thought that you get more than you put in by helping or teaching others. By working with kids over several years, the positive impact that you have on them becomes evident, and this gives me great satisfaction to be a part of over time.
How can others get involved?
R: Choose something that you like, and also that is needed in the community, and then own it. Leave it in better condition than you found it, take pride in it and make it special.
Are there any additional details you would like to share?
R: I would just l like to highlight that when you volunteer your time and talents, you almost always walk away with a nugget of wisdom that enriches your own life.