An attorney and business leader in Chicago, Illinois, Robert Heist has been president and principal attorney at R. Connor & Associates for more over two decades. Robert Heist is also past-chairman of the board of managers of the Milton Hershey School.
In 2020, under the leadership, vision and direction of Mr. Heist as chairman of the board of managers, the Milton Hershey School pledged, and received approval from the Orphan's Court in Pennsylvania to spend, $350 million to support the creation of early childhood resource centers (ECRCs) in Pennsylvania. These ECRCs will operate according to the core standards of the Milton Hershey School and provide free services to at-risk and economically disadvantaged children from birth to five years of age.
The first ECRC funded by the Milton Hershey School is planned for a lot at the corner of Governor Road and Homestead Road in Hershey, Pennsylvania. When completed the proposed ECRC will span nearly 51,000 square feet and accommodate 150 preschool students.
This inaugural ECRC project has an expected completion date in 2023. The Milton Hershey School plans to subsequently develop as many as five more ECRCs following the same general operational model.