Robin Bonsall | YWCA Women of Excellence
Historic Jayhawk Theatre
Robin is a driving force in the Topeka Theatre community. She is involved with educational activities at TPAC, on the Board of Ad Astra Theatre Ensemble, Acts in and produces shows at Topeka Civic Theatre, and was a founding member of Mobile Mystery Entertainment Inc.
She executed an awareness campaign which has brought artistic growth to downtown Topeka. She has created opportunities for multiple partners within our community who have also committed to utilizing a once and future historic location. The individual events draw diverse crowds who might not otherwise come downtown for their entertainment or creative outlets. This space is now thriving again; even in its pre-restored state, with events taking place virtually every week and weekend. The sheer amount of events and the growing demand both in the attendance and the various artists wishing to perform in the space would not have happened without this woman's particular skill with connecting together so many different sides of our diverse community.
Robin is married to Graham Bonsall and they have a son Caius who both love watching her perform. She is a graduate with honors from Topeka High and Emporia State.
TK: What inspires you?
ROBIN: I am constantly inspired by the Go-Getters around me. There are so many ways to approach a desired result. In Topeka, there is an amazing collection of people all contributing to the same goal: Improved Quality of Life and Improved Quality of Place. The people who inspire me the most are the leaders who lift up these Go-Getters and encourage them to continue in their individual methods. We all bring different strengths into the arena. It's proving to be an inspirational story for the new #TopCity. :-)
TK: What advice do you have for others?
ROBIN: This advice comes solely from my personal experience and ties into the previous question about personal inspiration. When you find people who consistently make you feel good and excited about your dreams and what you are aiming for...hold on to them. Nurture those relationships and celebrate little successes with each other as often as you can.
TK: What is the greatest lesson you have learned on your journey?
ROBIN: Well, to start...My journey is FAR from over!
Every failure (big or small) is an opportunity for growth. We all make mistakes. We all can misjudge a situation and make a misstep. Some of the most inspiring leaders are those who can acknowledge a failure, apologize if necessary, adjust, then get right back to work. Great leaders have an emotional maturity which, sometimes, is under-appreciated in our culture. One of the greatest lessons I'm learning, is to strive for that emotional maturity and express appreciation when I see that quality in others.
The YWCA is on a mission to empower women at all stages in their careers. Diversity in leadership is particularly vital to our vibrant business community in the Greater Topeka Area.
The YWCA is celebrating 31 years of recognizing Women of Excellence in our community with the theme “Dare to be Powerful.” We dare to be powerful, despite whatever obstacles may present themselves along the way.
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”
- Audre Lorde