Students Rising Above Welcomes Julius Robinson As SRA Board Chair 

Driving Systemic Change For A More Equitable and Inclusive Society 


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 1, 2021Students Rising Above (SRA), San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit empowering first-generation college students to access higher education and career-ladder opportunities, is excited to announce the appointment of Julius Robinson as Students Rising Above Board Chair; Carolyn Reiser as Vice Board Chair; Kim Laughton as Secretary; and Robert Weis as Treasurer, effective July 1, 2021. 

Julius Robinson currently serves as Managing Director, Head of MUFG Union Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Group for the Americas. Robinson has been an SRA supporter for over a decade, serving on the SRA Board of Directors for over 15 years, as well as championing for the student community through long-time corporate sponsor, Union Bank. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome Julius Robinson as SRA Board Chair,” said Elizabeth Devaney, Students Rising Above Chief Executive Officer. “SRA believes that in order to achieve equitable college access and workforce participation, we must address the ways in which access to education is inextricably intertwined with class, status, race and ethnicity, and income. Every day, we work to increase college persistence and equitable workforce participation by providing the tools, resources, training, and robust financial and socioemotional support. We know that every student can and will achieve greatness when holistically supported to fully develop their identity, and their socioemotional and physical well-being. We’re humbled and honored to continue this critical work with Julius as SRA Board Chair, a true leader in diversifying the workforce.” 

In addition to holding over 40 years of banking experience, Robinson is well known for his dedicated community involvement. Most recently, engaging and working with multicultural women as an undersourced and underrecognized segment of the business community.

Robinson received his B.A. in International Relations and Economics from the United States International University, and completed the post-graduate program with Pacific Coast Banking School at University of Washington, Seattle. In addition, he holds a Certificate of Practice in Corporate Community Involvement from Boston College Carroll School of Management.

“As a proud supporter of Students Rising Above for nearly two decades, I am honored to be named SRA Board Chair,” said Julius Robinson, Managing Director and Group Head, Corporate Social Responsibility, Union Bank. “Nonprofit organizations like SRA are truly the backbone of our communities. It’s imperative that we promote systemic change in the communities we serve and commit to continued progress. I am so proud to have been given the opportunity in this role to support SRA in its commitment to closing equity gaps, working towards economic equity and racial justice.” 

Additionally, SRA welcomes Carolyn Reiser as SRA Vice Board Chair, Kim Laughton as SRA Secretary, and Robert Weis as returning Treasurer. 

Carolyn Reiser

Carolyn Reiser joined the SRA Board of Directors in 2018, and has served as Board Secretary. Reiser has been a corporate champion of SRA through Shartsis Friese LLP, a leading San Francisco law firm. As a senior partner of Shartsis Friese’s corporate department and investment management practice group, Reiser counsels investment funds and advises on a wide range of regulatory and business matters, including legal compliance, organizational structuring, strategic planning, marketing arrangements, and risk management. Reiser received concurrent B.A. and M.A. degrees in philosophy, summa cum laude, from Yale University and subsequently studied philosophy in Frankfurt, Germany as a Fulbright Scholar. She holds a J.D. from Yale Law School.


Kim Laughton

Kim Laughton joined SRA’s Board of Directors in 2019. Most recently, Laughton served as President of Schwab Charitable, one of the nation’s largest donor-advised fund providers established with the support of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. to make charitable giving simpler and more tax-efficient for clients. Laughton has been recognized by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the most influential women in Bay Area business and was recently named a 2021 Stanford Distinguished Career Institute fellow. She holds a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Biology from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.


Robert Weis

Robert Weis has served on SRA’s Board of Directors since 2015 as Treasurer, Chairman of the Finance and Investment Committee, and Executive Committee member. Weis is the Founder and CEO of CFOs2GO, which he launched in 1986, which now includes COOs2GO, CHROs2GO, CROs2GO, and CIOs2GO. In addition to his leadership role, he leads the International Practice Group for the firm and has worked with more than 60 global companies in a range of industries, helping organizations set up and manage global operations, as well as attract top talent. Weis graduated with a B.A. from the University of Portland and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, Walter A. Haas School of Business.





“We’re honored to welcome Julius Robinson as SRA Board Chair; Carolyn Reiser as Vice Board Chair; and Kim Laughton as Secretary, as well as welcome back Robert Weis as Treasurer. Similarly, we’re extremely grateful for the service of Mike Loughlin, outgoing SRA Board Chair and John Diserens, outgoing Vice Board Chair,” said Devaney. “SRA remains steadfastly committed to growing our community from within, equipping our future leaders with the resources and tools necessary to become advocates and changemakers for the next generation.” 


About Students Rising Above 

Students Rising Above is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that empowers underrepresented students with drive and potential to achieve their life goals by connecting them to the tools, resources, and supportive community they need to excel and thrive on their college-to-career journey.



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