Edward Robinson

Edward  Robinson
  • BA Business Administration 1966
When Ed Robinson was growing up in Chicago, he loved to gaze at the El trains, the streetcars, and the many railroad trains - all of which he encountered on his way to school. The good nuns routinely admonished him for being late to class. "I couldn't help it," he recalls. "I loved to watch."

It's a natural, then, that Robinson became a leader in the transportation industry. "I'm still fascinated today by moving goods and people efficiently."

After graduating from Tech in 1966 with a bachelor's in business administration, Robinson landed a job in the Chicago office of an accounting firm that is now Deloitte & Touche. His career soon was interrupted by two years of active duty in the Army Corps of Engineers, including eighteen months in Vietnam. He was stationed for the most part in Da Nang, which was in the thick of things.

As a lieutenant, Robinson led a platoon of about thirty soldiers. "My biggest concern," he says, "was my men - keeping them out of harm's way, while still accomplishing the mission."

After his military service, Robinson returned to his job at Deloitte, where he started out as a junior accountant in the Windy City and ended up a partner in the Twin Cities. He became national director of the firm's transportation services, which encompassed airlines, railroads, trucking, city transit, and ocean shipping.

In 1991, after twenty-two years with Deloitte, he started his own business as a transportation consultant, in Minnesota. These days he serves as CFO of several freight railroads and as president of the North Shore Scenic Railroad out of Duluth.

He says that Tech prepared him "quite well" for his career, including the fundamentals of accounting, management, and marketing. "I used those skills and built on them." He recalls his Tech days fondly. "I liked most everything at Tech, other than calculus."

Robinson is a life trustee of the Michigan Tech fund, having served from 1985-95. He also is a member of the National Advisory Board of the School of Business. He and his wife, Betty, have financially supported Tech's business program for decades.

Excerpted from Trustee Link, Michigan Tech Fund/Spring 2008