Special Person: Brian Robertson

Survey Says: Brian Robertson Gives Back with Analytical Expertise


Brian Robertson loves America’s national parks, and it’s no mystery why. He grew up playing in them.

“I got to grow up in all the amazing places that many people simply get to spend a couple of days in, if they’re lucky,” Brian said. “My dad was working for the National Park Service in Zion National Park when I was born. We moved from Zion to Olympic National Park, and from there to Dinosaur National Monument, then Glacier National Park, and from there to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.”

When a job opportunity brought Brian to Maine in 2000, he made a special point to visit Acadia National Park. He instantly felt right at home.

“I remember thinking, ‘wow, I remember this type of place. This is like the place I grew up in,’” Brian said.

Brian’s favorite past-time is hiking, and he loves to go on hiking vacations with his brother David. He has visited Acadia frequently over the years, sometimes six or seven times a year.

On one of those visits to Acadia in the early 2000s, Brian recalled coming across the Friends of Acadia Membership Table at Jordon Pond House. He signed up as a member that day.

Brian’s charitable giving centers around conservation and protecting our natural resources, so joining Friends of Acadia was a natural and easy choice. He is also a member of the Nature Conservancy, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Appalachian Mountain Club, and other land trusts.

After he joined Friends of Acadia, Brian mentioned to Lisa Horsch Clark, vice president of development and donor relations, that if the organization ever needed help with research, he would love to help – this was his area of professional expertise, after all.

As vice president of research for Market Decisions Research in Falmouth, Maine, Brian provides technical leadership including research design, data collection methods, and analysis for the company and its largest contracts. The firm works nationally with businesses, nonprofits, and government organizations of all sizes, and specializes in public health, environmental studies, judicial performance, and insurance.

Naturally, Lisa took Brian up on his offer.

In 2009, Brian helped Friends of Acadia design and analyze a series of surveys for members and donors, local residents, and businesses. He assisted again in 2019 with the Friends of Acadia member survey. And this past year, Brian donated more than 40 hours of his professional time to help plan and analyze a comprehensive set of stakeholder surveys, followed by focus groups.

It’s important to Friends of Acadia to invite feedback from members and donors about the ways in which we help the park address its most pressing challenges. Brian gets that and has shared his professional expertise in those endeavors for more than 13 years.

“I’m pleased that Friends of Acadia really looks at the information and tries to do something with it,” Brian said. “They seem to really listen and take the feedback to heart, factoring it in to what they decide to do. That makes what I do more rewarding.”

Brian has translated his love of national parks and passion for research into an amazing in-kind contribution to Friends of Acadia, and we are better for it.

Thank you, Brian!

LORI SCHAEFER is Friends of Acadia’s Vice President of Communications.