APS President, COO Don Robinson dead at 59

Donald Robinson, president and chief operating officer of Arizona Public Service, died April 4 after a long battle with cancer. He was 59 years old.

Robinson, a beloved and widely respected figure throughout the company and Arizona, worked for APS for more than 34 years, rising to the position of president and chief operating officer in 2009. Prior to that promotion, he contributed to the company’s success in the areas of regulatory, resource planning and risk management.

APS Chairman and CEO Don Brandt said he was still coming to grips with Robinson’s loss.

“Don was a true gentleman and a real friend,” Brandt said. “This is a tough day for everyone who knew and loved Don.”

Brandt added that Robinson’s contributions will have a long-lasting impact on the company and its employees.

“There have been few — maybe none — who have known our business and our state like Don,” Brandt said. “He had an incredible sense of what was best for our customers and our business, but was even better at relating to and empathizing with our employees.”

An Arizona native, Robinson’s intellect and skills also were prized in the community. He served on the boards of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Herberger Theater, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Fellowship for Senior Living and the Phoenix Police Reserve Foundation.

“Don was a very special person, and he touched and improved the lives of so many,” said Scott Finical, assistant police chief of the Phoenix Police Department. “He was so generous and gracious. He will be missed greatly by all of us and those with the police department.”

Robinson is survived by his wife, Chloe; his children, Vera and James; and two grandchildren.

APS serves more than 1.1 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal unit of Pinnacle West Capital Corp.

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