- February 8, 2019
Rogan Donelly, named president of Venice-based Tervis Tumbler in May, says the skill he wants to learn the most is patience.
Donelly got plenty of practice in the first few weeks of his new job at Tervis. The drinkware manufacturer, one of the largest companies in the region with about 1,000 employees, is known for its cups that keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot. Donelly sought patience by holding a series of roundtable listening sessions with employees across departments and shifts — before he changed anything.
“That was all about learning and getting to know people,” says Donelly.
Many people at the company know Donelly, or at least of him. Donelly’s grandfather, Casey Key entrepreneur John Winslow, bought Tervis in the 1950s and moved it from Michigan to Venice. Winslow’s son-in-law, Norbert Donelly, ran the business for 25 years after Winslow, and now Rogan Donelly holds a top position.
The youngest Donelly has spent the past seven years working in a variety of positions at the company, to see how each department runs.
As he grows into his new role, Donelly says one of his challenges is to balance the day-to-day with the visionary side. The company’s top managers, for example, recently competed a branding program called North Star, to set a long-term future for the company.
Donelly, attending a weekend MBA program at the University of South Florida Muma College of Business, is eager to discover what Tervis will become.
“We aren’t just a plastic cup,” Donelly says. “We are a premium branded product. We have a lot of opportunities.”
— Mark Gordon
Name: Rogan Donelly
City of residence: Sarasota
Twitter handle: none
Birthplace: Providence, RI
Years on the Gulf Coast: 29
Marital status/children: Single/none
Alma mater: Bowdoin College
Best place to network: YPO – Florida (Young Presidents Organization)
Coolest business experience: Meeting with Jim Stephen (Chairman of Webber Grille). He had a lot of great knowledge of running a family business with a strong brand presence. By the time I met him he was semi-retired and had just sailed around the world. He knew how to run a business and enjoy life.
Messy desk or clean workspace: organized. My dog comes with me to work so he can make it messy.
Best business lesson ever learned: Do your research before you start any business relationship or make any business decision. There is no substitution for good information.
A website that makes your job easier: businessinsider.com
Community group you’re most involved with: Trustee at Mote Marine
Favorite off-hours activity: Spearfishing
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: My Grandfather Winslow. He was an outdoorsman and started many companies in the Sarasota area (including Tervis).
What you would be doing if you could pick another career: Marine Biologist
Top item on your bucket list: catch a tarpon, on a paddle board, on a fly rod
Skill you’d like to learn: Patience!
Who would play you in a movie about your life: Liev Schreiber
If I had a magic wand I’d: Successfully complete all road construction in the county to cut down on the amount of traffic.