Culture as the Foundation for Growth, featuring Robyn Pollina, CEO of Palmer-Donavin 

Available on-demand

Watch on-demand as we welcomed Robyn Pollina, CEO of Palmer-Donavin, to the Wholesale Change show. Robyn ascended to the CEO position in 2020 after 25 years at the building materials wholesale distributor, including serving as the company’s CFO. “I shifted from managing day-to-day tasks to establishing six growth initiatives,” she notes.  

As the head of a leading distributor of building materials and an ESOP, Robyn’s job is to meet and manage the expectation of its many employee-owners while adapting the company to succeed in an evolving channel. Some long-term investments can affect short-term profitability but will pay off over time. A key part of Robyn’s job is to enroll the whole company into these strategies to ensure Palmer-Donavin’s success for many years.  

Robyn views building a strong culture as fundamental to the success of the company. Her leadership team has distilled 28 “Purpose-Driven Principles” to serve the Palmer-Donavin’s mission “to deliver more and guide our everyday interactions with each other and our business partners.”  

As one of a small number of women in a CEO role in distribution, Robyn serves as a great example to others who aspire to leadership roles in what has been a male-dominated industry.

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Our Guest

robyn pollina

Robyn Pollina,

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Thank you to our sponsors:

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About our guest:

robyn pollina

Robyn Pollina

CEO, Palmer-Donavin Manufacturing Company

Robyn Pollina is the CEO of Palmer-Donavin Manufacturing Company. Palmer-Donavin, a wholesale distributor of building materials and residential entry doors, is headquartered in Grove City, Ohio, and has locations throughout the Midwest. Palmer-Donavin became a 100% ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) company in March of 2007, the same year the company celebrated its 100th year in business. Robyn has been with the company since 1995.

After graduating from Ohio State University in 1993, she started her accounting career at Coopers & Lybrand as an auditor. She then served two years as Palmer-Donavin’s controller, then 23 years as CFO, and was appointed CEO on August 1, 2020. 

About our hosts:

Ian Heller

Ian G. Heller

Founder & Senior Partner, Distribution Strategy Group

Ian Heller is Founder & Senior Partner at Distribution Strategy Group, and has more than 30 years of experience executing marketing and e-business strategy in the wholesale distribution industry. He has written and spoken extensively on the impact of digital disruption on distributors.

Ian Heller

Jonathan Bein, Ph.D.

Managing Partner, Distribution Strategy Group

Jonathan Bein, Ph.D. has worked with many distributors to make their marketing a profit center. He has developed and applied analytic approaches for customer segmentation, customer lifecycle management, positioning and messaging, pricing, and channel strategy for distributors.