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Robert Upton

Co-Chair

Robert is a Corporate Representative of Indiana Wesleyan University who is responsible for overseeing the university’s work in Michigan. He builds strong partnerships and close relationships with businesses, community colleges, hospitals, small businesses, corporations, non-profit organizations, local governments, and religious organizations. 

A graduate of Michigan State University, Robert is also a licensed Life and Health Insurance agent with First Insurance Enterprises, based in Grand Rapids, MI.

As Co-Chair of the NIA Centre, Robert provides leadership and guidance to ensure that the NIA Centre will be successful in placing a world-class cultural center in Grand Rapids that will leave a legacy for many generations to come.

Robert joined this organization to ensure its strong capacity as an organization that will be impactful and sustainable. His long-term goal for NIA Centre is to create an organization that impacts Grand Rapids, the region, state, nation, and the world. He has always enjoyed working on projects that either present a big challenge or that have never have been done before.

He says, “I want to see the NIA Centre become a major cultural institution that is a central meeting place where people can come together to preserve traditions and develop cultural activities. More importantly, I want to see this cultural center always strive to uplift the human spirit by welcoming people from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, as well as different perspectives when they walk through the doors.”

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Robert is a competitive sprinter.  Recently, his relay team at the National State Games took first place in the 4 x 100 relay and he took third place in the long jump. Also, he enjoys traveling, reading, working out and spending time with family and friends.