The 1,200 residents of Indian River Colony Club depend on John Robinson and he is not about to let them down.
As the chief operating officer and general manager of the Viera retirement community, Robinson has his eyes and hands on everything going on at IRCC. He does everything from maintaining the pristine landscapes to assuring residents that the club has their backs should hurricanes arrive.
"IRCC is like a well-oiled machine and daily issues are pretty much handled with ease," said Robinson, who has been in his position since 2005.
He proved to be an excellent choice to manage a community composed primarily of folks with military backgrounds. Robinson's 22 years in the Navy helped hone his organizational skills. Working at IRCC also carries a bit of déjà vu for Robinson in terms of his colleagues.
"Being in the Navy for 22 years, I have had the privilege of working with many dedicated, knowledgeable and professional people. The staff at IRCC ranks right at the top," he said.
The New Philadelphia, Ohio native spent his youth on a farm before joining the Navy in 1978.
"In the Navy, I operated and repaired sonars, fire control systems and unmanned submarines and also taught sonar maintenance and anti-submarine tactics," he said.
The hard-working Robinson did not let his education go dormant despite the demands and challenges of being a sonar technician and chief petty officer.
"While in the service, I earned a bachelor’s of science degree from Southern Illinois University," he said.
The second chapter in Robinson’s career began in 2000 when he accepted a position as general manager for Port of the Islands Resort and Marina near Naples on the west coast of the state. The hotel/marina is a popular destination for tourists eager to experience in comfort the wild nature of the nearby Everglades.
From managing a tourist destination resort, Robinson segued with ease into the job with IRCC. While overseeing the operations of a facility that caters to temporary guests versus full-time residents carries different sets of tasks, both the guests at Port of the Islands and the residents of Indian River Colony Club seek the same thing: the good life in the Sunshine State.
Wife Cindie and daughter Coral were used to moving every few years and looked forward to their new base of operations on Merritt Island. Son Codey already was on the east coast attending Palm Beach Atlantic University.
"It put us about an hour closer, which made him happy," Robinson said.
The summer, which brings the hurricanes to Brevard, is the most challenging part of the year for Robinson.
"We stop all work at IRCC and go into hurricane mode when it looks like one may threaten our area," he said.
He will fill sandbags with the rest of his staff and do anything else necessary to get the homes ready to face the storm.
"In the Navy, this is what we refer to as an "all hands evolution," he said.
When storms do arrive, Robinson and other key staff spend the night in the administration office to ensure they can get out into the community as quickly as possible. This speeds up the process of making sure residents are safe and cleanup and repairs begin.
"Though it may take a while to get everything back to normal, we try our best to make a stressful situation a little less stressful," he said.
The efforts of Robinson and his staff do not go unnoticed by IRCC residents.
"The members of IRCC treat all of us like family and there is a good deal of respect going both ways," Robinson said.