Select company: Attorney earns induction into high school's hall of fame


By Kurt Anthony Krug
Legal News

Robert Molnar, an attorney and a 2001 graduate of Carlson High School in Gibraltar, called it a “huge honor” to be one of four alumni who were recently inducted into the CHS 2018 Hall of Fame.

Molnar, 35, of Gibraltar – along with fellow alumni Delayna Herndon, Nicole Teifer, and John Schreiber – all were outstanding athletes who played varsity sports during their days as a Carlson Marauder.

The CHS Hall of Fame has inducted 33 members and two state championship-winning sports teams since its inception in 2012. This year, each inductee received a plaque and certificates from state Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) and state Sen. Coleman Young II (D-Detroit).

Despite his induction into the Hall of Fame, Molnar never really considered himself a gifted athlete during his high school days, regardless of the fact he was selected to the Monroe County All-Star Team for football his senior year and played basketball all four years, including making the varsity team at the end of his sophomore year and becoming captain his senior year, winning several local, regional, and state honors. He also played baseball.

“Basketball was my passion; competing at anything is a way of life. I was not the most athletically gifted player on any of my sports teams, but I think I wanted to win more and was willing to sacrifice more than the other more athletically talented competitors. As a captain of the basketball team I pushed really hard at practice, but in hindsight I probably took it a little too seriously, as I could allow my emotions to take my mind away from the game plan,” explained Molnar, a 2004 alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh and a 2010 graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

His greatest memory of being on the basketball team was scoring a game-winning three-point shot against Plymouth-Salem High School during a tournament contest. CHS was down by two with 3 seconds left on the clock. Molnar’s half-court shot – the stuff of many sports movies – won the game and the tournament crown.

“Playing sports at Carlson was about work ethic, class, education, and sportsmanship. If you wanted to play, you had to have a B-average. On game-days, you wore a shirt and tie to school. Practice was intense. Sportsmanship was of utmost importance – to your teammates, to the opposing team, and to the referees. It set a wonderful example of how fun sports can be if you follow those guidelines. Turns out the same is true for work. The learned recipe was: Do your homework, carry yourself with pride, work hard, and be a good sport. That made the games impactful beyond the sport,” recalled Molnar.

His drive to win and the way he pushed himself at practice has positively impacted his career. Today, Molnar is a 50 percent shareholder and chairman of the board of Wm. Molnar Roofing, a family-owned business based in Gibraltar he’s worked at since 2006. He also owns Captain Jim’s Marina & Kayak and Captain Jim’s Boat Storage, both of which are located in Gibraltar.

In addition to his undergraduate and law degrees, Molnar has a certificate of executive management from the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. He is a national board member for Associated Builders and Contractors, serves on the City of Gibraltar Zoning Board of Appeals, as well as serves as a director and shareholder of Roofers Insurance Ltd.

“The way I approach a task, situation, or challenge is to practice and plan at great length, prior to executing. I often believe that others assume that I am naturally gifted at parts of my career, but the truth is I practice hard so that when I make decisions in front of others they are extremely well thought out and the results typically confirm as much,” explained Molnar. 

“The same is true for how law school helped my career. Work ethic, studying, and practice are the foundation, but focused analytical thinking provides another advantage in the workplace. The legal education gives me significant confidence during typical business challenges, plus the practical knowledge of standard legal and governmental procedures.”

Molnar is still involved with his alma mater. He’s made financial contributions to all of school’s athletic programs, including the replacement of the outdoor basketball court. For the last seven years, he has hosted an alumni basketball game the Friday after Thanksgiving. Additionally, he attends and contributes to the annual Carlson/Jo Brighton “Shooting with the Stars” event, which is a half-day event where the special education students from Jo Brighton Skills Center in Wyandotte pair up with a CHS basketball player and play basketball for most of the day.

As a result of the creation of the Hall of Fame program, there is a renewed sense of community and organizational pride “that is infectious,” according to Molnar. 

“I see it both as an acknowledgement of some level of achievement noticed by others, as well as a recruitment drive to support the noble goal of enhancing the educational experience of the youthful future of our community,” he said. “Being acknowledged for my role in past or present achievements is satisfying. The biggest honor of the Carlson Hall of Fame is being asked to play a small part in the development of our community’s educational cornerstone. The inclusion shows a sense of trust and is a vote of confidence.”