Board Member Rob Connects Through His Congregation - SHIM

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Board Member Rob Connects Through His Congregation

Rob Wagner with wife Beth and SHIM vanBoard member Rob Wagner, born and raised in Bethel Park, holds a profound bond with the South Hills. Although he pursued his college education at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Cincinnati, his heart always drew him back to Pittsburgh. He commenced his professional journey at PNC Bank upon returning. After meeting his wife, Beth, he relocated south where she had started working after graduating from Clemson University. Subsequently, they settled in Greenville, SC, where they resided for a decade.

As Rob and Beth grew their family, they decided to move back to Pittsburgh where both of their parents resided. Beth expressed some reluctance about relocating back north, especially during winter. However, the decision to return to Pittsburgh proved worthwhile as it afforded Rob the opportunity to embark on a new career path as a self-employed mortgage broker, providing him with greater flexibility.

Rob and his family settled in Upper St. Clair where they appreciated the great schools and opportunities afforded to their children. They quickly became connected to Westminster Presbyterian Church, which was right in their neighborhood.

Eager to be more involved, Rob joined the outreach committee of Westminster Presbyterian Church, where he served for over 25 years. He became familiar with SHIM through the outreach committee’s various service projects.

“My wife and I have played a big role in the food collection for SHIM at our church.”

Rob and Beth helped organize “fill a truck” events on behalf of Westminster Presbyterian Church in partnership with Christ Church and St. Thomas More Church. These large-scale food drives yielded thousands of pounds of food for local food pantries including SHIM. Although these events have not taken place in the last few years, Rob and Beth have spearheaded annual donation drives at their church. They notify congregants of the collection date and pass out bags to fill. By making things easy and clear, Rob and Beth help to inspire many congregants to take action.

“We plug in to our church and see where we can help as responsible citizens.”  Rob Wagner with daughter and son-in-law

Through his work on the outreach committee, Rob has watched SHIM grow from a smaller organization into the comprehensive agency it is today. Since the pandemic, Westminster Presbyterian Church has focused its outreach on more local agencies, becoming even more connected to SHIM. After Rob decided to join SHIM’s board, fellow Westminster Presbyterian Church member, Mandy Thomas, helped in his orientation. Rob was happy to bring his financial expertise and close congregational connection to his work at SHIM.

“Every person I come into contact with at SHIM is friendly and competent. They get so much done for the community and they allocate their resources efficiently.”

Rob cites his father as a role model for inspiring his community engagement. Robert Wagner, Sr. established the Wagner Family Charitable Trust to generously support local organizations like SHIM. Rob witnessed how impactful this local support was to his neighbors and felt compelled to help others. He has served on various boards, including Washington County’s Habitat for Humanity.

“To me it is just a great way to spend time. Everybody always likes to say they’re busy, but it’s nice to have part of your weekend dedicated to helping others. I find it very rewarding.”

Rob also feels passionately about helping refugee families. Westminster Presbyterian Church has recently sponsored one refugee family per year, and Rob and his wife got involved to help the families settle into Pittsburgh. He enjoys connecting families to SHIM services, knowing they will be warmly welcomed.

“We try to help them with as much aid as is available, setting them up with the SNAP benefit program, SHIM, and utility assistance. We set them up in a place where they can get jobs and afford the rent.”

Rob Wagner with son and wife + son's gfRob looks forward to volunteering more when he retires. While he’s not sure whether he’d like to take on tutoring, financial counseling, or another role, he’s excited to augment what he’s already doing to help his South Hills neighbors.

“I’d like to get involved in other volunteer activities. It’s really awe-inspiring the time volunteers give.”

We’re grateful for board members like Rob, who dedicate themselves to improving their local community.

Learn more about our generous board members in our Latest News section.

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