President & CEO
Executive Assistant to the President
Robert S. Collier (Rob) has served as president & CEO of the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) since 2000, however he has been involved with CMF as a volunteer throughout his career in philanthropy, which includes service as the founding director of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation; executive director of Rotary Charities of Traverse City; grants director of the Gannett Foundation; and program officer at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. His 33 years of experience covers every type of organized philanthropy and support to Michiganders in creating family and corporate foundations, as well as many donor advised funds at community foundations.
Rob continues to be involved in leadership positions with state and national organizations that serve the charitable nonprofit sector and philanthropy, including service as a board member for the Michigan Nonprofit Association and the Michigan Association of United Ways, and as a member of the Public Policy Committees for the Council on Foundations, and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.
Rob also serves on many special task forces and boards, receiving appointments by the Governor to the Michigan Community Service Commission and the Executive Committee of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. He holds a Masters of Public Administration from Central Michigan University and came to Michigan as a VISTA Volunteer, having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Hobart College.
Get to know Rob:
What do you actually do all day long?
I am often asked what do I do all day long! I like to say – create good mischief. As many who try to reach me know, I seem to be either in meetings someplace in Michigan or on the road – and no, not inspecting potholes!
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is helping Michiganders make an impact with their charitable giving – watching their eyes light up with the satisfaction that they are making a difference.
What music are you streaming?
My favorite music is the music of Morning Edition on NPR as I start my day with a commute to our offices on both sides of the state from my home in East Grand Rapids.
Favorite flavor of ice cream?
I love to live in East Grand Rapids because it is the home of Jersey Junction – where every flavor of ice cream is fabulous (especially the one that tastes like a Mounds Bar)!
Favorite book from childhood?
Yes, Winnie the Pooh remains my favorite book from childhood – it’s the honey that counts! But I love finding books that tell the story of our Michigan. My new favorite is Tuesdays – a remarkable collection of picture taken by the Reeds of Ludington of every county in our state on a Tuesday. Do check it out. What a beautiful state we live in!
I recently was asked about where I like to travel for vacation. Travel to vacation? Whether skiing at Crystal or kayaking on the Betsie, our Michigan is my favorite place to vacation. Introducing guests to the wonders of Pure Michigan is my hobby – just ask our friend and California based consultant Lucy Bernholz about luging in Muskegon. It was a WOW!