Linda Bell Robinson honored with Savvy Sister Award for 2011
The Savvy Sister Award is given each year by the staff of Houston Woman Magazine to a woman who has made a significant career change, interesting business maneuver or an innovative change to her workplace. With multiple, interesting career changes already under her belt, this year’s recipient, Linda Bell Robinson, says her recent retirement from the Harris County District Attorney’s office is not likely to slow her down.
“I have a whole lot of things I want to do,” she said. “I want to put my hands in the pot and stir it a little bit.”
Robinson received the 2011 Savvy Sister Award on May 24 at Houston Woman Magazine’s Fifth Annual Nominate HER Award Luncheon. The event recognizes women in the community who serve as excellent role models for those around them. Robinson was nominated for the recognition by her husband, Kelly L. Morgan.
Morgan said, “Linda truly fits the description of a role model. She lives her life the way we all should.”
He continued, “She is a great listener and displays sincere friendship to other people. She provides comfort and support to friends and co-workers in good times and bad.
“Her energy is boundless. When others are tired, she’s still going full steam ahead. She’s also the ‘go to’ person (both in her career and in her personal life); she’s both knowledgeable and smart. Savvy Sister definitely describes my wife, Linda.”
Robinson earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in sociology from Texas Southern University, but her first job was as a data processing technician. In 1975, she moved into a 35-year career in law enforcement, becoming the first female park patrol officer for the City of Houston. Gender and racial barriers were not a stumbling block for her, and Robinson says she didn’t even realize she needed to be aware of such issues then.
“The guys I worked with were sincere and realistic, and they taught me the right things to do,” said Robinson.
She was also instrumental in getting the park police officers recognized as members of the Houston Police Department in the 1980s and worked to ensure that park police became “Class A” officers like their HPD counterparts. Today, there is no distinction between the two law enforcement groups.
At the district attorney’s office, she built a rapport with law enforcement agencies across the country and improved the system for quarterly auctions of property seized through narcotics raids and other criminal activities.
“Linda is dedicated to the success of this division and this office. She is loyal to her friends and co-workers,” one of her supervisors wrote on an evaluation of Robinson. “She is tireless in her efforts to do the very best job she can for the citizens of this county. She is available day or night to get the job done. No job is too hard or too dirty for Linda to accomplish. The Asset Forfeiture Division owes much of our success to Linda and her hard work.”
In 2003, Robinson was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to serve as a member of the Council on Sex Offender Treatment; the next year, the governor asked her to serve on the Council on Health and Human Services. And, she did.
As if that were not enough, Robinson also started her own marketing company, Ignite, for a new electric provider based in Dallas. She has also served on the board of directors of the Houston Area Women’s Center and remains active in several law enforcement and civic associations.
But, perhaps the accomplishment she cherishes most is finally earning her doctoral degree from Sam Houston State University — after being out of school for 40 years. This was a life-long dream of hers — one to which she and a close friend had committed. Sadly, her friend passed away before she could share in the accomplishment, but Robinson wanted to fulfill the commitment for both of them. In 2009, she did, earning her Ph.D. in education.
Robinson says she would like to teach, but if she doesn’t do anything with that advanced degree, that’s fine, too.
Robinson mentors her four nieces and three nephews on a regular basis. All seven are working toward advanced and undergraduate degrees. In her home, one room has been designated “The Linda Robinson Education Center,” with five computers, a wireless printer and a variety of reference materials and office supplies. In the education center, family members gather to study and work on papers together, with Robinson supervising the proofreading and spell-checking as she also doles out inspiration and moral support.
Her formula for success is very straightforward — just like the lady herself. “Start out the way you finish up, and always plan to finish on a high note,” she said. “And, let your word be your bond.”
2011 HER Award Sponsors
Fashion Design Department of Houston Community College
Houston Community College
Marnoble Computer Sales & Service
Shea Writing & Training Solutions
The Vicki Milazzo Institute
Unity Church of North Houston
Wright Pawn & Jewelry Co.
Thanks also to these Friends of the 2011 Nominate HER Awards Program for their support and generous contributions.
Flowers by Nino
Minuteman Press Post Oak
The Perfect Touch Linens