VENICE — One of Sarasota-Bradenton's most recognized executives, Laura Spencer, is no longer with Tervis Tumbler — a firm she helped build into a rare fast-growth gazelle.
The Venice-based company manufactures drinkware that has grown significantly in popularity the past five years. Revenues have grown 213% since 2006, to more than $75 million in 2010.
Spencer was most recently the firm's chief financial officer. The new CFO is Brian Crowely, who most recently held the same position at Fort Myers-based retailer Robb & Stucky. Robb & Stucky filed for bankruptcy Feb. 18 and was bought for liquidation in March.
Tervis President and CEO Barry Wolfson says while Spencer will be missed, the company's ambitious growth plans called for an alteration. It projects it will surpass $100 million in sales within a few years. “As companies grow, the needs and direction frequently change,” Wolfson tells Coffee Talk. “We need Brian's particular skills and experience.”
Crowely worked at Federated Department stores for 20 years before Robb & Stucky. He was vice president of finance for Macy's in Atlanta at Federated.
Spencer, meanwhile, was promoted from chief financial officer to CEO of Tervis in late 2006. Wolfson, a onetime Tervis consultant who previously ran a $100 million specialty chemical products firm in Marietta, Ga., was named CEO in December. Company Chairman Norbert Donelly made those personnel moves.
Spencer returned to the CFO position when Wolfson joined the firm.
A Venice native, Spencer had been with Tervis for 14 years, back when the firm had just a few million dollars in annual sales. An accountant by trade, Spencer completed courses with the Harvard Business School while at Tervis.
Spencer plans to stay in the area. She seeks an executive position at a small to mid-size firm. “I was glad to play an integral part in (Tervis') outstanding growth,” says Spencer. “The company has a very bright future.”