Joseph P. Donnelly III
Class of 2014
Joseph P. Donnelly III has been working in the confectionery industry for nearly 40 years, something he says has led to much joy and success for his family, which far outweighs any desire to work in another field. “There is still much to achieve, with no ceiling in sight,” he adds.
Born November 8, 1960, to Patti and Pat, Joe grew up in Memphis with his brother Matthew. He attended Memphis Catholic H. S. while working at Claude’s Candy Co. helping with deliveries, and cleaning and stocking trucks. Joe graduated high school in 1978 and continued his work in the industry with Wayne’s Candy Co., where he handled cash and carry sales and worked in the warehouse.
During this time he was enrolled at Christian Brothers College. He obtained a B.S. in marketing and management in 1982, the same year he became a sales representative for brokerage Ziegler-Allison-Harper.
In 1985, he married Patricia at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Memphis. Together they have two children: Anna Katherine and Joseph Patrick IV.
Joe joined Montgomery/Ziegler in 1993 as territory manager and account executive, a position he held until forming brokerage Trend Sales, Inc. in 1996, of which he is currently president.
He notes he first became interested in the industry after witnessing how much his employers, Claude Williams and the Wilkes family, loved the business. “I knew this was a very unique industry and I wanted to be a part of it,” he points out.
Industry honors include the 1995 Distribution Channels Trend Setter of theYear award, the 2006 Mississippi Wholesale Distributor Association Associate Member of the Year and the 2009 Lou Spector Golden Candy Dish Award, presented by the NCA.
If he has any career regrets, he says it is not getting involved in industry associations sooner, noting the relationships and knowledge gained through these channels is priceless.
Always following through on your word is the best advice he offers to those just joining the industry. “This sounds so simple, but there are many characters out there who do not deliver when it comes to their word.Your reputation is built or destroyed by this,” he explains.
Away from the business, Joe and wife Patty have been active members of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral for more than 30 years. He also enjoys spending time with friends and family boating on the Tennessee River as well as supporting the Ronald McDonald House’s Feed The Families program and other fundraising events.