Donor Spotlight: Robert & Shelley Kohorst
Bob Kohorst uses a simple adage to explain why he and his wife Shelley Allen devoted so much time to attending their sons’ sporting events when they were in school; “There is no substitution for showing up.”
It’s a phrase that perfectly sums up the level of dedication that has guided their actions throughout their lives – and which has carried into their philanthropic work with United Way of Greater Los Angeles as well.
As Million Dollar Roundtable donors, Bob and Shelley have contributed extensively toward creating lasting, transformative change for those in Greater Los Angeles. And that only tells part of their “service” story.
Never one to back down from supporting causes he believes in, Bob recently accepted an appointment as the United States’ Ambassador to Croatia – where he and Shelley will live for the next three years. But despite living internationally, their support for United Way remains as strong as ever. In fact, prior to leaving, they made an additional $100,000 pledge to support our impact work.
“It’s impossible to overstate how grateful we are for the generosity of people like Bob and Shelley,” says United Way’s President & CEO Elise Buik. “Their ongoing commitment to sharing their success with others is a true inspiration.”
After receiving his B.S. in Accounting from Dayton, and his J.D. from the University of Michigan, Bob clerked for Judge Albert Engel of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals before joining private practice firms, first as an associate, then as a partner. Then, in 1984, he joined the self-storage company Public Storage as President of its Private Placement Group. From there came a string of successful tenures – from his role as CEO of Tiger Shark Golf and Masquerade International, and founder of both Petcetera Originals and KH Financial. It was this last venture that led to his creation of Everest Properties, in Pasadena, which he continues to own. In addition, he has served on numerous private and public boards, was Chairman and Director of United Investors Real Estate, and is a Director of Professional Business Bank in Pasadena.
This level of dedication is something Bob and Shelley Allen have passed to their sons Matt and Kevin as well. Although both currently working with Everest Properties, Bob was insistent that they work elsewhere in the corporate world after college.
“I wanted them to have other experiences, including at least one promotion, before they worked for me,” he says. Both sons have followed in the philanthropic footsteps of their parents and are making their own positive impact on the community.
So as you can see, the Kohorsts do far more than simply “show up.” And we’re very grateful that they do!