Senior Vice President, Rubenstein Associates Inc., New York City
When Robin Verges’s mother took her to hear Malcolm X speak about taking responsibility for one’s actions, she believed her mother was encouraging her to develop a strong sense of self. Senior vice president at Rubenstein Associates Inc., a global public relations firm based in New York, Verges was promoted from an account executive to senior account executive on her first day at the firm. She learned to think “outside the box” from listening to Sunday dinner conversations with her parents and their frequent guests from various African and European countries. “Ours was an atmosphere where creativity was encouraged; as an individual in such an environment, I was given opportunities to be expressive, both inside and outside the box,” she says.
Verges has a bachelor’s degree in languages and literature from Syracuse University and credits toward a master’s in media studies at The New School, New York City. She developed a love of languages from her exposure to so many as a child and now speaks Spanish, French and Arabic. Among her most memorable experiences, she recalls persuading the U.S. Air Force to fly a stealth bomber over Fifth Avenue to honor veterans during celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of World War II, and the other was spending an afternoon with the late author James Baldwin. “To me, here was a man who had used his talent as a writer very integrally in the Civil Rights Movement and it was fascinating watching him on television assert himself,” she says.
Her skill, crisis management, harks back to her formative years. “Meeting different people as a child has undoubtedly contributed to my ability to be diplomatic and capable of using language structures to say much in little,” Verges says. She believes she should be an example to African-Americans. “If I don’t do it well, the whole race doesn’t do well,” she says.