Rob Stuart, a long-time member and leader of the nonprofit technology scene, both in Philadelphia where he lived and nationally, died suddenly on October 26, 2011 of a heart attack. He was 49.
The son of August D. and Marian R. Stuart, he was born on January 11, 1962 in Summit, NJ.
A lifelong activist, his public advocacy career began at Morristown High School when he organized a debate that featured an appearance by 1980 third-party presidential candidate John Anderson. The Paul Robeson Scholar at Livingston College, part of Rutgers University, he graduated with honors in 1984 and received the Departmental Distinction Award from the Department of Political Science. He was elected student representative to Rutgers University Board of Governors from 1983-1984. He was Program Director at New Jersey Public Interest Research Group, was lobbyist for U. S. Public Interest Research Group, was Executive Director of the Vermont Public Interest Group, and was a Program Fellow with the Rockefeller Family Fund. He grew that work into the National Strategy for Nonprofit Technology and the Circuit Riders Program as Director of the Rockefeller Technology Project. He merged that project with Desktop Assistance into a new organization called TechRocks in 1999. Between 2003-2005, he was a partner at @dvocacy Inc. before creating Evolve Strategies and the Evolve Foundation, which support efforts to increase citizen participation in government.
In addition to TechRocks, Rob launched NpowerPA, the Non-Profit Technology Enterprise Network, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Technology Works for Good, and Taxpayers for Common Sense. He served as president of Philadelphia’s Logan Square Neighborhood Association, as the chairman of Taxpayers for Common Sense and NpowerPA, and on the boards of Green Media Toolshed, PennEnvironment, Schuylkill River Park Alliance, the Eastern Environmental Law Center, PA Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action, and Stuart Communications, Inc. In 2006, he was named one of 101 Connectors by Leadership Philadelphia’s Connector Project.
Survivors include his father of Killington, VT, his mother of Morristown, NJ, his wife, Sarah Clark Stuart and daughters, Marina and Amelia, at home; a brother, Pete of Sequim, WA; a sister, Laurie, of Narrowsburg, NY; and nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 3 p.m., at Trinity Memorial Church, 2212 Spruce Street, in Philadelphia, PA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to benefit a community garden that Rob helped found: Logan Square Garden Fund at Evolve Foundation, 1 S. Broad St., Suite 1840, Philadelphia, PA 19107.