FamilySmart® CEO Keli Anderson accepts the Rob Lees Award for Exemplary Practice

Exemplary Practice Award

  • There are people you meet who notice everything, and forget no one. This is Rob Lees.
  • There are people who do things because it will make them look good, and those that do things because they know it will make things better for others. The latter is Rob Lees.
  • There are people you call when you need help yourself, or for others you care about, and before you can even ask for help, they offer it. This is Rob Lees.
  • There are people who say they partner and collaborate, and those that don’t have to say it, because you can see they do it. This is Rob Lees.
  • There are people who just get things done and they do it without any fanfare, or need for recognition. This is Rob Lees.
  • There are people who have given to us in ways that generosity cannot define. This is Rob Lees.


These are the things I have learned from Rob – and I have a feeling others would say: “I learned that too”:

“I’m wondering” – he often starts a sentence that way and from the first time I met him, and he said that to me, I knew that I would “BORROW” that phrase. It is now part of our organization’s culture and our practice. Thank you Rob.

Anyone, and likely everyone, who knows Rob will say. “He gets you involved in stuff and doing stuff that you don’t even realize you’ve agreed to until it’s too late….and I say this not as a criticism, but as an endearing example of his intentional and masterful way of bringing the needed people into something because he knows it will make it better. Thank you Rob…..I think some call it “getting Lees’d”

He has taught me that “having hard conversations “with people with whom you have not had a good experience with, matters because it gives them an opportunity to “show up” differently next time – and not just for you, but for others. This is also in our culture and training. Thank you Rob.

Lastly, Rob shared with me a beautiful story about “watching his grandchild skipping in front of him and his wife as they were going for a walk together. He reflected on how joyful it was to see this and then asked: “when is the last time you skipped?” I have never forgotten this story. We all should experience “skipping” once in a while.

The F.O.R.C.E., Institute of Families, FamilySmart® is so very grateful to you Rob for your unrelenting support and commitment to families and the work we do. And it isn’t just us you support and commit to, you continuously help lift others up when they aren’t sure they can lift themselves, and you do it so selflessly.

This, Rob, is why we have chosen you to be our first inaugural recipient of the award for Exemplary Practice. You have set the bar high, and we hope it inspires other to rise to the level of your practice.

On behalf our FamilySmart®, we acknowledge you, celebrate you and THANK YOU.