Family and friends remember Adam M. Roberts as a multifaceted man.
Bethesda Green’s executive director was a husband, father of two, co-founder of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and member of numerous nonprofit boards such as Mindy’s Memory Primate Sanctuary and the $10 Club. Those various roles were recalled following Roberts’ death on Nov. 19.
Roberts joined Bethesda Green as its executive director in January 2019, after spending 30 years in pursuit of wildlife preservation efforts, supporting animal rights and engaging in nonprofit work, according to a statement put out by Bethesda Green.
Bethesda Green is an environmental nonprofit organization that aims to create a “sustainable, green community” through “citizen engagement, environmental education, government partnership and innovative business development,” according to its official website.
According to a statement put out by the nonprofit, Roberts “contributed his enthusiastic vision to Bethesda Green,” and increased community engagement and outreach by joining the Montgomery County Climate Action Planning Coalition, which helps inform local climate legislation such as the Building Energy and Performance Standards Bill and the Climate Assessment Bill.
“We will remember Adam for his humor and candor,” Bethesda Green officials said in their statement. ‘We will miss Adam’s spirit, energy and commitment to Bethesda Green’s mission of building a truly sustainable, socially responsible community.”
Roberts is survived by his wife, Stephanie Shain, his two daughters and seven pets, according to Bethesda Green.
Shain is the executive vice president and chief operating officer at the Humane Rescue Alliance, a nonprofit that helps connect homeless animals with homes as well as train animal rescue providers in adoption, training, and medical services.
Roberts’ family has yet to announce a date for a memorial service. A memorial fund has been set up in Roberts’ honor “to alleviate the burden of the variety of immediate expenses and to seed Adam’s legacy,” Bethesda Green said in its statement.
The fund is organized by close friends of Roberts’ family: Richard Patch, Kristen Hassen, and Betsy McFarland, who also encouraged well-wishers to consider donating to organizations close to Roberts’ heart such as: the Oklahoma Primate Sanctuary, the Morgan County Family Support Center Starting Points and Bethesda Green.
As of Nov. 30, the fund had collected $25,882 of its $20,000 goal.
Hassen said while Roberts was an ardent supporter of causes such as animal rights, wildlife preservation and green energy, his “pride and joy came from his role as a loving husband to Stephanie, a doting father to Bella and Mia, a dedicated son to Jane, and a loyal friend to far too many to name. At his core, Adam was a fierce advocate and a devoted provider.”
During Roberts’ tenure, the nonprofit achieved federal recognition from the Department of Energy as it became one of the winners of the Inclusive Innovation Prize, according to Bethesda Green. The award funds were put towards creating a Wheaton Sustainable Innovation Zone, which aims to advance climate energy technologies.
Roberts brought his prior experience to the role since he had previously worked as an independent consultant from 2017-2018, where he helped launch nonprofits and create growth plans for them.
Well-wishers shared words of support on Roberts’ memorial page and expressed their sympathy for the family. Some tributes described Roberts as “a wonderfully positive spirit,” “a beautiful, gracious soul” and “an amazing activist.”
Bethesda Green announced that Kim Goddu-Alexander will serve as interim director.