2020 Under 40: Stephanie Donley, Regency360
STEPHANIE DONLEY, 29
Key Account Manager
Regency360, Raleigh, N.C.
When asked to describe Stephanie Donley, her nominator called her a “born leader and a pillar in the Regency360 sales organization.” As a key account manager, Donley builds rapport with current clientele to add or bundle services that her employer provides, including commercial printing, promotion advertising, corporate apparel, managed print service, integrated marketing campaigns, document destruction and office supplies. She also goes out of her way to improve clients’ purchasing environments by consolidating vendors and leveraging their overall buying power. Offering a high level of customer service is nothing new to Donley, whose passion almost led her to a different career in the hospitality industry. In fact, the Ball State University undergraduate got her start interning for arguably the epicenter of hospitality: Walt Disney World. She eventually traded in her mouse ears for a stint at a Marriott in Chicago, where she spent the next few years. But something changed for Donley during that time. “I decided to branch out and start looking for opportunities that would allow me to still have that interaction with customers, but to include a more business-to-business approach,” she said. “I ended up landing a position in the marketing industry as a campaign specialist for a start-up company called RewardMyWay in Chicago. This allowed me to become really entrenched in the industry, due to it being new for me and new to the company, regarding what strategies and marketing campaigns would help the business grow.” While Donley enjoyed this job, she realized there would be no further growth. Her manager recognized hints of dissatisfaction and recommended her for an account manager position at Regency360’s Chicago office. Almost five years later, Donley grew her print and promo sales by 33 percent (year to date), totaling over $930,000 in print and promo top-line sales. A student of the game, she has no plans to slow down.
Why she loves her job: I love how Regency360 excites me. Outside looking in, our industry can be viewed as a non-tech industry. Regency’s view is totally different. They focus first on the technology, the platform and the innovations … and then the products. This allows me to bring a unique and exciting solution to my customers, all while giving me tremendous personal growth opportunity.
Age roadblocks and advantages: One of the advantages associated with my age is being able to adapt, develop and grow custom company stores with the latest print, apparel and promotional products. Regency360 is always evolving, which allows me to present new product lines or recommendations based on my knowledge of the customer. I am always able to provide content that keeps us relevant and useful for day-to-day or future projects.
Challenges that I have encountered in the past regarding my age is when high-level contacts only want to meet with my manager. This is a great opportunity in my eyes to prove my worth and to not let “no” be the first answer. Showing your persistence and providing a solution for a company removes any age limitations.
Her biggest career influence: Stephanie Page, experience sales and account manager at Regency360 has been a big influence in my career at Regency360. She has provided me the tools I needed to become a better account manager in the industry these past few years. Her astonishing work ethic, great management skills and guidance have pushed me to better myself and strive to become the best I can be. She is a wonderful person and someone who has paved the way for all account managers to become successful.
Jason Fisher, managing partner at Regency360, has also been an influence on my career. He was able to help me jumpstart my career within the industry. He is a great leader and always looked for ways to help me with my future goals.
Her most meaningful business accomplishment: My experience and growth in the direct mail channel has been a huge accomplishment for me. It’s an area that our company was not hugely entrenched in, and I became a student of the game. I saw a need and an opportunity and I took it upon myself to network with vendors to learn everything I could. My efforts have really paid off! My knowledge and work in that area reached new heights in 2019, landing me as the top Regency direct mail rep and my sales in the top 3 of Regency reps. It’s enabled me to gain business I never would have gotten otherwise, and I’m excited to continue to lead the charge in this area for Regency!
Her differentiating factor: I feel that I am very open-minded when it comes to change. The markets can change at any time, and we can never be completely prepared for when situations arise. Keeping an open mindset allows you to adapt to the situation and figure out a solution to keep moving forward.
What she hopes to accomplish in the next year: My goal both professionally and personally is to become part of management at Regency360. I want to continue to move forward with a company that I believe in and that is [in] an industry that I love.
Why she believes the future is bright: The print and promo industry as it is today has continued to grow with the trends and customers’ needs as I have seen in the last five years. As long as vendors and businesses like Regency360 continue to welcome change, the industry will always thrive.
How the industry can better recruit young talent: [It can use] social media and [improve its] online presence. Back when I first started, there was not a whole lot about my current employer and what areas of service they had to offer. Today, we have so many outlets about Regency360 that I would have applied myself versus being recommended for the position.
What she does for fun: In my spare time, I love to play golf with my husband, go on hikes with my dog, visit my family and cook.