There was a time, in the pre-kids days, when 70-hour workweeks were no problem for Eric Rosenthal.
He was based in the Atlanta office of global accounting and consulting giant Deloitte & Touche. Most weeks would be on the road. He would leave Sunday and come back Thursday for trips to clients such as Air Canada and ConAgra.
But after a few years burnout began to creep in, right around the time a company founded in 1981 by his father, Ed Rosenthal, was in fast-growth mode. That company, Lakewood Ranch-based Florikan, is a national leader in the niche controlled-release fertilizer business. “My parents needed help,” Rosenthal says. “They were getting stretched out.”
Rosenthal has been with the firm more than a decade now, and he has led it through more large growth runs. Sales have doubled since 2009, to $30 million in 2013, and the company has around 40 employees. The firm has a main office in a Lakewood Ranch corporate park and is currently building a manufacturing, distribution and warehouse facility in Hardee County.
The latest growth spurt, mostly attributed to Florikote, a patented polymer-coated fertilizer with a controlled-release mechanism the company developed with assistance from NASA, has been a business education for Eric Rosenthal. For example, the firm recently shuffled its senior leadership team, something Rosenthal says in retrospect took too long to do.
Rosenthal still puts in a lot of hours at Florikan every week, but he constantly strives for work-family balance. That’s especially true when he comes home to his wife and three young children. “I demand that balance for myself and all the employees,” Rosenthal says. “If you don’t have the balance, it will cause you more anxiety.”
— Mark Gordon
City of residence: Sarasota
Twitter handle: @ericrose77
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec Canada
Years on the Gulf Coast: 22
Marital status/children: married with three children (3, 5, 7 years old)
Alma mater: University of FL – Go Gators!
Best place to network: for my industry it would have to be a golf or fishing tournament, but I don’t do either
Coolest business experience: Touring Tokyo and Japan major sites with our largest supplier
The most important business lesson I’ve learned: loyalty is a double-edged sword – performance is what matters
One website that makes your job easier: Google and Wikipedia – I’m an information junkie
One community group you’re most involved with: CEO forum through Sarasota EDC and Grow FL
Favorite off-hours activity: working out at Uppercut Boxing & Fitness Gym in Sarasota
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Bill Maher and Neil Degrasse Tyson
Best award you ever received: Youth soccer state of Florida champions
Most adventurous thing you’ve ever done: ran off a mountain attached to tandem hang-glider.
What’s at the top of your bucket list: taking a tourist flight into space orbit
What new skill would you like to learn: deeper understanding chemistry and natural sciences
Who would play you in a movie about your life: Edward Norton
If I had a magic wand I’d: end childhood suffering of all kinds.