[heading]Photo by Spark Photography[/heading]

When Rancho Bernardo selects its new Honorary Mayor in September to replace Robin Kaufman, the 36-year resident will still be among the busiest volunteers in the community.

“It’s been an enjoyable year meeting new people, being invited to speak at meetings, assist with grand openings and promote the community as a whole,” said Kaufman, who also serves as president of the Rancho Bernardo Community Council.  “It’s been a privilege and honor to give back to such a great community.”

As RBCC president, Kaufman and the council members focus on local “quality of life” issues.  “We have been working on battery recycling and e-waste events and educating retailers who sell batteries about the law related to them accepting used batteries,” she said, as an example.  “We want to see more retailers in our community offer this opportunity to residents.”

She said the council also is becoming involved in the developing High Speed Rail Coalition.  “The present plan as the project going directly through the middle of our community,” said Kaufman, who has a master’s degree in speech pathology.  “If this present plan is implemented, it will have a significant, negative impact on our community – including some residents losing their homes to eminent domain.”

The council also plans a community cleanup event in November, a sidewalk chalk event in spring 2012 and – as next year’s elections draw closer – a series of forums related to the San Diego council and mayoral races.

Time spent as Honorary Mayor and with the RBCC is actually only a fraction of Kaufman’s long list of volunteer and community activities.  Just to name a few, she also is Co-Lead of the Rancho Bernardo Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Westwood District Coordinator for Neighborhood Watch, President of the Rancho Bernardo Hall of Fame, and Treasurer of the Rancho Bernardo Recreation Council.  “I think I got my inspiration for community involvement from my mother,” she said.  “Even though she worked full time, she has always been an active volunteer.  The other inspiration came from the adults who volunteered time out of their busy lives to help the youth groups, sports teams, junior achievement and other groups I belonged to as a youth in Rancho Bernardo.”

In recent years, Kaufman – general manager and consultant for appraisal and arbitration for E.K. Associations of CA, Inc. – received several awards and recognitions.  In addition to being inducted into the Rancho Bernardo Hall of Fame in 2004, she receiving the San Diego North Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year Award for 2003-04.  She also received a San Diego County Board of Supervisors Proclamation in 2008 making March 27 that year as “Robin Kaufman Day.”

As much as she gives to various organizations, Kaufman actually argues that she’s coming out ahead in the equation.  “There’s no greater feeling than to give to something you believe in,” she said.  “It’s been a privilege and honor to give back to such a great community and I encourage everyone to give of their time to any organization of interest.