Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Appalachia Service Project - Home Repair for Low-Income Families

In his duties as lead attorney and owner of R. Connor & Associates in Chicago, Illinois, Robert Heist handles matters such as corporate litigation and general liability. As a philanthropist, attorney Robert Heist supports the Appalachia Service Project (ASP).

In 1969, minister Glenn “Tex” Evans saw a need for connecting young volunteers to poverty-stricken areas of Kentucky. ASP focuses on upgrading the substandard housing so common in Appalachia, and currently serves the mountain regions of North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Since its founding, ASP has brought in almost 400,000 volunteers to repair homes while building friendships across cultural and economic differences. The group has improved almost 18,000 homes, carrying out a variety of tasks such as fixing roofs, stairs, and plumbing. Other jobs include shoring up foundations and constructing flood channels.

ASP accepts volunteers with a range of work experience, matching assignments to skill levels. A typical week consists of devotions, meals, work, and evening entertainment. 

The project is open to anyone at least 14 years old, and 13-year-olds who have finished eighth grade. Volunteers may bring their own tools or use those provided by ASP.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Preparations to Consider for Summer Sailing

Attorney Robert Heist studied criminal justice at the University of Illinois prior to receiving his JD from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. He then continued on to complete his MBA at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management as well as various corporate director programs at the Harvard Business School. In 2001 he founded the business law firm R. Conner & Associates, which he continues to oversee. Although Robert Heist is admitted to serve as an attorney before multiple Illinois courts as well as the Supreme Court of the United States, he still finds time to enjoy sailing.

Because sailing is a fairly complicated endeavor, up-to-date skills can make the difference between an enjoyable afternoon sail, and a frustrating one. A review of your current skills to be sure you are prepared may include the following:

1. Review steering with the sails. The unintended loss of your rudder can make the ability to steer your boat with the sails invaluable.

2. Practice setting a reaching, or outboard, lead. The jib sheet may lead you to a situation in which a reaching lead becomes necessary.

3. Practice hooking up to a mooring and also setting anchor, as free moorings may not always be reliable.

4. Review trimming sail to be sure you are comfortable slowing down when the wind comes up. Familiarize yourself with the tools at hand for sail trim.

5. Practice putting in a reef. It will make for a more comfortable experience for your onboard guests.

6. Review and practice how to furl your headsail, an important skill in keeping your boat upright.

7. Set up the whisker pole on a trial run before setting sail. It can be difficult, and so is more easily accomplished if practiced.