Partnering For An Engaged Community: Bill & Della Robertson
At Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, we’ve seen how much more we can accomplish when we work together. Since 1981, community members have shared their commitment to a thriving Pierce County by partnering with GTCF to bring their vision to life and build a legacy for future generations. In our 2018 yearbook, Pierce County Partners, a few of our partners shared their lessons and insights from working to strengthen Pierce County.
“My whole life I’ve grown up in communities where people made a difference by being personally engaged. Whether it was time, talent, or treasure. It takes all three.”
Bill and Della Robertson moved to Pierce County in 2014 when Bill joined MultiCare as President and CEO. Having held a donor advised fund when they lived in Washington DC, Bill says they connected with GTCF for several reasons including, “I know people who actually helped found it, so it was just a natural thing for us to do, growing out of our experience elsewhere, and knowing we wanted to be actively engaged here.”
Through personal and professional community engagement, Bill has seen what makes Pierce County special, “People are present here. They like to volunteer. They like to give back. They own the problems of the community and seek to solve them.
“The existence of UWT is a community engaged activity. The revitalization of the Foss Waterway is a community engaged activity. The psychiatric hospital — Franciscans and MultiCare coming together. There were 70 to 80 community leaders who came together from all walks of life to say, yes, mental health care is something that is essential for the health of our community. And not every community does that. And that’s what I think about when I think about Pierce County — it is a community that comes together to do things in the interest of community.”
“My whole life I’ve grown up in communities where people made a difference by being personally engaged. Whether it was time, talent, or treasure. It takes all three.
“And I have this partnership with my wife. We are in our 37th year together, so I have learned a lot from her in terms of partnership. She and I are in this together in our communities. She does a lot of volunteer work. She is very engaged in making a difference in her way. She is a very talented lady. And in our relationship, it is a partnership.
“The idea that there is a legacy that says the world was a better place because my wife and I were part of the community, and that we got to live in that community, it is a win-win. The community hopefully is winning, and we are winning because we are part of a better community over time. And when all of us are doing that, it is amazing how quickly things move. If you look at the history of Tacoma, there have been people who have done that in extraordinary ways in our history that have made a difference.”