ROB DONALDSON: California Closets
Rob has friends from College Pro dating back to his rookie year – friends that have stuck with him a franchisee, general manager, and some who’ve even gone on with him to California Closets. He represents the tight knit family that most of our alumni belong to, and he was happy to share his story.
Education: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Rookie Year / Turf: 1993 (turf: Concord, MA)
Current Home: Boston Area, MA
Rob was an internal hire at College Pro
He started out as a painter working for another franchisee while he was in high school. He saw what his franchisee was doing, and thought it looked pretty cool, but didn’t make a move to try it out until he got a flyer under his door in his first semester. Four years later, he was a seasoned franchise owner moving on to become a general manager, where he stayed for three years, before putting in seven years as vice president. He says, “It was always unexpected. At the end of each phase of my College Pro career I thought, ‘this is it’, and figured I’d get a job in engineering. But then it just worked out to be a general manager, so I thought okay, I’ll do this for a few years and then I’ll grow out of it. But then there was an opportunity to interview for vice president.” Long story short – Rob’s College Pro roots run deep.
Now, Rob is a vice president at College Pro’s sister company, California Closets. Until last year, he was in a coaching role with their franchisees, helping with all aspects of their operations. Now, he’s vice president of sales. He figures out what’s working, what’s driving sales, and how to improve the business.
“First and foremost, the performance culture inside of College Pro is relatable to anything”, Rob says,
“Understanding how to set a goal and the steps to achieve that goal is an irreplaceable skill, and the College Pro culture really thrives on that. Everyone pushes each other in a good way – it’s a healthy competition to be the best.” Since ’93, Rob has thrived on that culture, and uses it in all areas of his work.
Advice to His Rookie Self
“I would say have a little more fun. I probably took it a bit too seriously. As much as I appreciated the hard work, I could have worked smarter instead of harder.”
Most Memorable Customer Encounter
On one of his coldest nights of cold calling, and first nights of it, Rob was knocking on doors when he happened across one particularly memorable house. A man opened the door and yelled ‘You’re here for painting? I have a man dying in here!’…and then slammed the door in his face. Not a night Rob was quick to forget!
Rob has two daughters, and spends a lot of his time taking them to their sports games
He recently picked up golf
Rob has 7 brothers and sisters