At St. Mary’s University, our continued growth as an institution would not be possible without the ongoing support and commitment of our community of dedicated volunteers and donors. Rob Geremia, Director and Co-Founder of RKG Consulting, is not only long-time donor, but also one of our longest-serving board members and volunteers.
Rob first became involved with St. Mary’s after being asked by former Board Chair James T. (Terry) McCoy to consider joining our board as a member.
“At that time, I was sitting on several other boards and didn’t think I could provide enough of my time to make a large commitment. I didn’t feel I would contribute appropriately. But one of my colleagues was really raving about the great work being done at St. Mary’s and I grew even more curious, so I agreed to sit on the audit committee for a year,” says Rob.
After that, Rob became a board member in 2013 – and all these years later, he is still giving his time and experience to St. Mary’s by serving on our board. “I was quickly impressed the university and as time wore on, my experience with StMU kept drawing me in further and soon I joined the finance and executive committee,” Rob explains.
As a member of the St. Mary’s Board of Governors and Chair of our Audit & Risk Committee, Rob enjoys the experience of working with the executive team at St. Mary’s and making a difference in the lives of our students.
“Working during this period of so much growth between the board and the executive committee has been an eye-opening experience,” he says. “The board is productive and efficient, which makes a genuine impact and difference; and with the executive committee, we have differing but respectful opinions, so we get lots of different viewpoints, which are essential to our growth as an institution.” says Rob.
This commitment to St. Mary’s grew when Rob met his wife, Kim, and the two began to volunteer their time together.
“Once I met Kim, Director, and Co-Founder of RKG Consulting, I dragged her into this too,” laughs Rob. “Kim was initially involved as a donor, as she is the senior director of the Geremia Charitable Trust – but now as we get to know more about St. Mary’s, we become more and more involved in this community.”
After hearing Rob talk about the institution and the first-hand impact our donors and volunteers have on the lives of our students, Kim was immediately curious to learn more about St. Mary’s.
“I just wanted to help however I could, and it has been a real pleasure to work with an institution that is so welcoming to everyone,” says Kim.
Kim enjoys volunteering on our President’s Dinner planning committee and seeing our community of donors, supporters, students, and alumni come together for this evening of connection. The annual President’s Dinner is one of St. Mary’s most significant fundraising initiatives, and it would not be possible without the help of our amazing volunteers.
This fundraiser supports the student experience at St. Mary’s and the pursuit of academic excellence. Kim has generously volunteered her time on this planning committee for the last few years, providing StMU with her expertise. In addition to volunteering on this committee, Kim also offers her Environmental Social Governance (ESG) planning experience to our board.
However, for Kim, the best part of working with St. Mary’s has been interacting with our students, staff and faculty. She has been so impressed by our campus community that she is now encouraging her son Sam, a grade 12 student, to apply and experience the welcoming environment at St. Mary’s.
“Sam, Rob and I went to the recent Open House together, and the experience was personable and special. We were overwhelmed by how welcoming and kind the staff and faculty members were, and it made Sam feel even more excited about going to university,” says Kim. “StMU is truly a community minded and focused university that cares about its students, and it is a place where if you fall behind, somebody will catch it. You’ll make lifelong and lasting friendships.”
Rob adds to Kim’s overall impression of St. Mary’s, stating our small classes and big experience offer an experience like no other institution in Alberta.
“This is an institution of higher learning that offers hands-on learning, great faculty, a beautiful campus and dedicated staff –in my mind St. Mary’s has all the great signs of success,” says Rob. “Also, our placement ratio is second to none for the B.Ed. program. But arguably the most important thing we offer is the most value for an education – a mind, body, spirit education and development,” he adds. “At St. Mary’s there is out of the box thinking, and real world skill development.”
Rob and Kim started the Geremia foundation to help those in need in whatever shape or form necessary. They choose to give to StMU as they are deeply involved in the organization and know that their contributions are being used in the best way possible.
“It’s always good to give to an organization that you understand, or you are invested in like we are with St. Mary’s. We know St. Mary’s – we know what it is doing, we feel that what we give is worthwhile and going to where it is needed.”
As donors, their priority is to support students who cannot meet their financial obligations, because the couple see the inherent value in higher education.
“Both of us have spent the majority of our careers working in the corporate world,” explains Rob. “And with few exceptions, a degree shows an ability to learn and accomplish goals, it opens doors. Education is an important leveler when it comes to opportunities.”
Rob and Kim believe in supporting students through bursaries, to help ensure students are not limited in their higher education experience. They believe that students should not see financial limitations as a blockade to their education and future success.
Looking toward the future, the couple look forward to continuing to give their time and support to St. Mary’s and seeing the institution grow and support the academic success of more students.
“St. Mary’s is second to none and I’ve been involved with many institutions. I’ve never been involved for this long with any other organizations. I feel that there is still so much important work happening and I look forward to seeing the future of St. Mary’s as we continue to grow,” says Rob.