A graduate of the University of Illinois, Robert Heist, an Illinois attorney, is the president of R. Connor & Associates, PC. As the principal attorney at the firm, Robert Heist also previously served as the chairman of the board of directors of the Milton Hershey School Trust.
In 2020, while Mr. Heist was chairman of the board and under his leadership, the Milton Hershey School Trust announced they were investing $350 million to create up to six early childhood resource centers in Pennsylvania where children from disadvantaged backgrounds can learn. The centers will be cost-free and oversee children up to five years old. The centers will be named the Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning in honor of Catherine Hershey, the wife of Milton Hershey.
The Catherine Hershey Schools for Early Learning will provide free transportation, food, and everything a child needs to grow and learn. The curriculum will feature programs and classes meant to improve emotional and cognitive development. In time, the early learning centers are expected to accommodate thousands students and low-income families..