Robert Heist on the Hershey Trust Company

A member of the Milton Hershey School Class of 1982, Robert Heist sits on the board of managers of his alma mater and on the board of directors of the Hershey Trust Company.

Founded in 1905 by the famed chocolate bar magnate, the Hershey Trust Company manages the affairs of several entities, including the Milton Hershey School Trust and the M.S. Hershey Foundation. The former entity owns a significant minority of the Hershey Company as well as 100 percent of Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, which consists of a theme park, a zoological park, two world-class hotels, a country club, and a campground. The latter foundation manages several cultural attractions established by Mr. Hershey and his wife for the residents of Derry Township and central Pennsylvania.

The legal documents that established these trusts provided that the proceeds of various Hershey enterprises were to be used for the benefit of the Milton Hershey School, a not-for-profit co-educational institution that currently serves around 1,800 students from kindergarten through high school. Through prudent management, the Trust Company has grown its assets from 486 acres of land and about $60 million of Hershey Company stock in 1905 to an estimated value today of more than $8 billion. The school served by this endowment has itself grown from an enrollment of 10 boys to its present size of nearly 2,000 students.

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The M.S. Hershey Foundation

The leader of a successful law practice in Chicago, Robert Heist graduated from the Milton Hershey School in 1982. He is presently a director of the Hershey Trust Company and a Manager of the Milton Hershey School.

A successful entrepreneur who built the town of Hershey and the world-famous chocolate company that bore his name, Milton S. Hershey was a true philanthropist, devoting his fortune in perpetuity to the benefit of institutions that would improves lives nationwide and in central Pennsylvania. In 1935, he set aside 5,000 shares of stock to establish the M.S. Hershey Foundation, whose mission was to provide cultural and educational opportunities for local residents. The Foundation began by concentrating on educational efforts, providing material support to Derry Township schools. In 1938, the Foundation opened the Hershey Junior College, which offered two years of tuition-free college education to township residents and chocolate company employees.

In the 1960s, the Foundation collaborated with Pennsylvania State University, providing $50 million for the construction of a teaching hospital. Today, the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center crowns the school’s medical education component. In 1966, the Foundation established the Hershey Educational and Cultural Center. The Center today operates the Hershey Theater, the Hershey Museum, the Hershey Gardens, and the Hershey Archives.

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Robert Heist: The Milton Hershey School

A principal at the Chicago law firm of R. Connor & Associates, PC, Robert Heist is a director of the Hershey Trust Company, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Milton Hershey School Trust, and he is a manager of the Milton Hershey School.

Milton Hershey, the successful entrepreneur, established the chocolate factory and town that bear his name in central Pennsylvania. The endeavor was a model of careful planning, and ground was broken for the factory in 1903. By 1905, the factory and town were up and running and Hershey had all the services necessary for a growing community.

When Mr. Hershey and his wife, Catherine, learned that she could not bear children, they decided to establish an orphanage as an outlet for their deep love of children. By 1909, the Hershey Industrial School was formed. The school was named in recognition of Mr. Hershey’s determination that all graduates have a vocation, and its first class consisted of 10 boys. By 1915, the year that Catherine Hershey died, that number had grown to 40. Mr. Hershey bequeathed his entire fortune to the school, about $60 million at the time.

Renamed the Milton Hershey School in 1951, the school today has grown to more than 2,600 acres in Derry Township, Pennsylvania, and it serves a coeducational population of more than 1,800 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. It houses, feeds, and clothes its students, and it provides a full educational experience concentrating on preparation for college. The school also subsidizes the college education of those graduates who meet academic standards.

The school is funded by the Milton Hershey School Trust, which controls the chocolate company and the Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company (HERCO), which owns several area hotels and restaurants, a country club, and the Hersheypark theme park, among many other enterprises. Thousands of Americans have graduated from the Milton Hershey School, and many of them have gone on to distinguish themselves in all walks of life.

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Robert Heist: Donating to the Egypt Cancer Network

In addition to his successful legal career as an attorney versed in a variety of practice areas, Robert Heist enjoys giving back to his community through the support of worthy causes. Among the causes that Mr. Heist supports is the Egypt Cancer Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering cancer research and medical care in Egypt.

Individuals and businesses can make a donation to the Egypt Cancer Network by visiting Donations are accepted in increments of $50; $100; $250; $500; $1,000; or custom denominations. Additionally, donations may be made as recurring gifts, pledged installments, or one-time amounts. Donors have the choice of remaining anonymous as well as the option to make a donation in the name of another person or group.

Donations are applied to the area of greatest need by default, but donors may choose to apply the donation to the Children’s Cancer Hospital, international fellowships, AFNI, Fakkous, the hospital expansion project, and other areas in need of support. Donations are tax-deductible as well as instrumental in helping the network to achieve its vision of a cancer-free future.

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