posted on Friday, September 5, 2014 by acate
One of our summer interns interviewed DVL’s President and CEO, Ronald Roberts, as part of our new Meet Our Partner series. Ronald has been with our full-service agency for 22 years, and he provided some details about his work history, the most rewarding part of his job and decisions he’d make if he were an NBA general manager.
What did you do before you came to DVL?
My first job out of college – I worked at the Nashville Network starting as a production assistant. I ended up as an assistant director.
I left the Nashville Network and went to MTSU. I started out at MTSU as the assistant director of public relations – although I had no experience in PR. I did that for three and a half years, then I began teaching in the College of Mass Communications. I taught journalism and public relations for two years. Then I came to DVL, and I’ve been here for 22 years…a long time.
What would you be doing if you were not at DVL or in PR?
Probably teaching. I enjoyed working at MTSU a lot. I just thought this was a better fit for me because I am very hyper, and being in an agency and doing many different things on a daily basis was probably a better long-term fit for me than being in a classroom.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
Probably that I know all the lyrics to any country music song that was performed between 1984 and 1988. When I was at Nashville Network, part of my job was to type up the lyrics for all the songs. So when I typed them, I learned them. Not sure I’m proud of that, but I know a lot of country music songs and a lot of country music history.
The other one would be that my favorite movie is the Wizard of Oz.
Why is your favorite movie the Wizard of Oz?
When I was a kid, I always loved it. The original – with the bad flying monkeys.
You’re a big basketball fan.
Okay, let’s say that you are the general manager of an NBA team. Who do you choose to build your team around: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan?
At what point in their career? When they’re in the height of their career?
In their prime.
Jordan. Jordan and Kobe both have that killer instinct. LeBron has the great physical talent. I just think Jordan had the physical talent, he had the killer instinct and he had that leadership ability. Any of those three would be a good choice, but I would pick Jordan first. When you combine the talent, leadership and the killer instinct, it’s Jordan.
What is the most rewarding part of this job for you?
I have two. One is to have a project come in that is very challenging from the beginning. On the front end, you know it’s going to be tough, but you take it and knock it out of the park and the client is pleased. Once it’s been completed, knowing that you had to really take on a difficult, challenging project and you nailed it. That would be one.
Another – because of the position I have from a staffing standpoint, I really enjoy watching someone come in at an entry level and watching them gain experience, grow and gain confidence. Just to watch their careers progress is very satisfying.
If you ran in to somebody on the street that didn’t know anything about what DVL does and this industry, how would you describe it?
I would say that what we do at DVL is take ideas and bring them to life. Anything from a communications standpoint – we develop great ideas and bring them to life, or we take existing ideas and further enhance them and give them life.
If you could go back in time and spend 24 hours with one person, who would you choose to visit in the past?
Martin Luther King Jr. And probably, and I don’t mean this to sound morbid, but probably the last 24 hours of his life. I would have liked to know what he was thinking.