Stephen Rohrbach Wants to Learn and Lead
“I’m just a small-town kid from Western New York,” Stephen Rohrback says in a serious-joking way that mirrors the serious-joking manner in which we ask who he is.
He reads our [Meg and Julia] collective sense of humor immediately which tells me one thing – this guy is in sales. Having been raised on Zig Ziglar audio tapes, I say that lovingly and with all due respect. It takes someone with an innate ability to connect with people to work in sales.
Raised in Bath, New York, the son of two teachers, Rohrbach grew up wanting to be one thing.
“All I ever wanted to be,” he says with a pause, “was a Penn Stater.”
And that happened. In 2004, he started at Penn State’s main campus in University Park; that choice not only fulfilled a lifelong dream, but also made him the fourth generation and the ninth person in his family to attend PSU.
Aside from the fact that Rohrbach is your classic sales guy, there’s something else about him that’s abundantly clear and that is the fact he’s abundantly clear – and logical and damn honest.
He studied Business Economics because that’s what he enjoyed learning about; he landed an internship with Food Lion the summer before his senior year of college – and then, post-internship, was offered a full-time job post-graduation which meant all he needed to do was return to Penn State and pass (which he did in 2008); and knew really early on that he wanted to do two things – learn and lead. And he said that to every boss or manager along the way.
Like I said – clear, logical, damn honest.
After 7.5 years with Food Lion and Delhaize America in roles ranging from store manager to procurement to commodity analyst to poultry buyer, Rohrback left to join The Emerson Group, a company responsible for managing sales for over-the-counter health and beauty products – we’re talking anything from cough drops to condoms.
“Anything in that aisle of the store,” he says waving an arm as though we’re sitting a supermarket and that aisle is over there. “I can sell it.”