Robin Cunningham

Vice President & Secretary


Robin Cunningham earned his bachelors degree in zoology from the University of Washington and did graduate work in psychology at Washington and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was the recipient of fellowships from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and the National Institute of Mental Health. He received his MBA from Washington, where he was awarded a fellowship from the Journey for Perspective Foundation.

Within three years of beginning his corporate career Robin was named a vice president of the then largest non-bank lessor of commercial passenger aircraft. Throughout much of his business career, he served as a senior corporate executive officer with a variety of industry leading international corporations or their subsidiaries. These include GATX Corporation, International Paper Corporation and Dean Witter & Company. After retiring from corporate life at age 45 he began a second career as an entrepreneur.  He was instrumental in the formation of The Starboard Group, JC Associates and Robin Cunningham & Associates.

Robin has served in the positions of Managing Partner, Chairman of the Board, President & CEO, Executive Vice President & COO, and as a vice president of marketing, sales, finance, administration and strategic planning.  He has worked in industrial finance, commercial and investment banking, project financing, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, leasing, turn-around management, leveraged buyouts, foreign-flag ocean shipping, rail car manufacturing, software development, consulting, and venture capital. Regardless of his title, Robin has always been heavily involved in addressing strategic issues and has been repeatedly asked to solve intractable problems.

Robin began to advocate for the mentally ill in the year 2000.  He has done a significant amount of public speaking, has granted numerous interviews and written many articles, as well as an extensive series of blogs for a commercial website, all about living with mental illness.

In 2011 Robin joined with Hakon Heimer to form Cure Alliance for Mental Illness, a non-profit dedicated to increasing funding for basic research into the causes, treatments and eventual cures for brain conditions. He has also served on the NJ Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma, the Board of Directors of NAMI NJ, and the Board of Governors of Greater Trenton Behavioral Health Care.

In 2016 Robin created The Sphere Initiative and Sphere First. L.L.C.  The Sphere Initiative is a non-profit organization engaged in a wide variety of activities with the objective of improving experiential health worldwide through research and innovation.

Sphere First is a for-profit company engaged in assisting others in the creation, financing, development and continuing management of both for-profit and self-sustaining non-profit new ventures that contribute to the improvement of individual and societal experiential health.

Simply Gray Matters is the first project sponsored by The Sphere Initiative and Sphere First.