Meet the Team

The Authors

Richard A Kaplan and Dr. Marcus S. Robinson have stepped forward with a bold new vision for American democracy. In this book, the authors describe a unique, practical, and powerful system called CARING, that resolves the dialectic tension between democratic ideals, spirituality, and capitalist economics. Kaplan and Robinson call for a whole new way of thinking about America and the ways in which we meet the obligations of society.

RICHARD A. KAPLAN has an extensive background in economics, accounting, management, and executive leadership. He is known throughout upstate and western New York as a tireless, innovative leader whose work has benefited many corporations, business start-ups, universities, charter schools, charities, and other organizations in the region.

He has had a varied and mostly successful business career managing and investing in over 20 companies. He specializes in startups and turn-arounds.

Over the years, Kaplan has developed a reputation as a private consultant and guest lecturer on marketing, economic, and organizational development issues, speaking regularly before business and student groups at leading conferences and universities. He is a popular speaker on issues relating to government policy and the funding of various social initiatives.

He also holds a black belt in Karate.

A commitment to community has been one of the hallmarks of Kaplan’s career. He serves on over 12 boards, including the boards of trustees at Nazareth College and the Rochester Institute of Technology, board member of Venture Creations (the RIT business incubator), board member at University of Rochester Medical Center, and a former board member of the Charter School of Science and Technology and the Mayor’s Literacy Commission.

Richard Kaplan

Kaplan has dedicated his time to any number of local charitable and community organizations. He is the former chairman of the American Cancer Society of Monroe County and a board member for a number of non-profits, including Camp Good Days and Special Times, Rochester’s Child, and the Rochester Broadway Theater League and former board member of the George Eastman House. He is also a board member emeritus of Rochester’s Center for Governmental Research, as well as the local Better Business Bureau, and a co-founder and board member of the Rochester Angel Network.

He attended Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Buffalo, where he majored in accounting and minored in economics.

DR. MARCUS S. ROBINSON is a transformational leader in the fields of non-profit management, talent development, corporate culture, and diversity with inclusion. He is a seasoned non-profit executive who is adept at project leadership, strategic planning, fundraising, and leading change that delivers on the vision, mission, and purpose of the enterprise. Dr. Marcus now serves as the Executive Director of Collaboraction Theatre Company in Chicago, IL., which uses devised, a collaborative show writing process, theatre as a venue for social change and community transformation.

He has served as a consultant and trainer in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion with many of the world’s leading companies, including Whirlpool Corporation, Eastman Kodak Company, Whirlpool Europe, and Honeywell Canada, as well as governmental entities, such as the City and County of Santa Barbara; City of Rochester, N.Y.; the League of Cities of California; and the State of California. He earned his doctorate, focusing on adult-learning and personal transformation, from the American Institute of Hypnotherapy. Dr. Robinson maintains his boutique business consultancy under the name of Social Innovation Group (not for profit.) This practice serves as a vehicle for generating profound breakthroughs in the ecology of being human.

Marcus Robinson

Dr. Robinson states:

“When thinking about the key influencers of my life, the first thing that comes to mind is being born into the legacy of Black oppression in the United States. Midcentury America featured stunning technological innovation and an expansive mainstream economy marred by rampant racism and unchecked White Supremacy playing out as Jim Crow laws and the wars overseas in Southeast Asia. I was born into an ancestry of proud farm laborers, small business owners, and clergy. Steeped in the Black Church tradition, we marveled at the works of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Malcolm X, John and Robert Kennedy, and our local pastors who helped steer the way through this turbulent period. The ethos of the Baptist, Pentecostal, and African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) churches informed my early childhood and spiritual tradition.”

Growing up in the segregated Richmond Heights neighborhood of Miami provided the firm ground and rich soil of two-parent veteran households. It meant seeing your doctor, lawyer, banker, teacher, pharmacist, and local business owners living in my neighborhood who also looked just like me — Black. It also meant knowing your place in the Jim Crow South, as any excursion out of the neighborhood into White society could mean serious trouble in this neck of the Dixie South. Public school in Dade County, FL. was a blessing to me. Schools were desegregated as I entered the elementary level. Having the opportunity to learn and grow in a more diverse setting gave me plenty of challenge and opportunity. The academic support, mentor support, and guidance I received was first class, and I am all the better for it.

Music, theatre, martial arts, and human development have always absorbed most of my attention. Music taught me the virtues of patience, perseverance, intention, teamwork, and ensemble play, as well as the duality of stress and relief, standing out for solos, and standing back to let others shine. Theatre cultivated my voice as a human being, then as a black man, later as an artist. Martial arts taught me mindfulness in all things. From Kyokushin, Wado-ryu, and Shoshin karate-do, I learned that peacefulness is born of an unyielding inner strength.

Karate opened my mind to the Eastern philosophies of Zen Buddhism, Taoism, and the related Hindu worldview. Human development taught me that everyone is on a heroic journey, flawed yet perfect for the challenge of life. The works of Carl Rogers, Werner Erhard, Milton Erickson, Virginia Satir, Manley P. Hall, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan are names of a few important influences. All of these are active ingredients in the way I see and engage the world.

The flow of the rivers of my life experience pools in the lake of my political worldview that is neither progressive nor conservative, Republican nor Democrat. Without a name or label, my political focus is on realizing the full potential of the Preamble of the Constitution. I am committed to doing the unfinished work of Lincoln — to make a more perfect Union for all citizens, residents, visitors, and newcomers to the United States of America. I seek to accomplish this work by way of truth-telling and reconciliation in a way that heals our nation and gives rise to a transformation in the way we care for one another. The Caring Institute and model are worthy tools in this important work.