Robert E. Donlan

The Hancock Group |

by Ray Kline, Marketing Director of The Hancock Group, Inc.

Rob Donlan, a native of Altoona, an advisor and co-owner at The Hancock Group, Inc., began his career as the company's first intern. After his internship in 1996 ended, Allan Hancock, Chairman Emeritus, told Rob that although we would like to have him, we were not hiring then. Rob asked if he could work here anyway, but without being paid. Allan has said, "I knew anyone who thinks like that was someone I wouldn't want to lose." Rob started working part-time, but it wasn't long before he was a full-time employee and an invaluable part of the firm. Allan added, "Hiring Rob was the best decision I ever made! Rob is a man of integrity, character, intelligence, responsibility, and love of family."

Rob graduated from Penn State in 1997, earning a Bachelor of Science in Insurance, setting the stage for multiple professional accomplishments. He said, "When I spent some time with Allan, I knew what I wanted to do. Fortunately, he was willing to give me a chance. Allan really helped me to take the lid off and think bigger."

The journey was a challenge, as Rob quickly found out. He failed the FINRA Series 7 General Securities exam twice before passing it in 1998. After passing Series 7, Rob continued by passing the FINRA Series 24 Registered Principal exam and the FINRA Series 65 Investment Advisor exam. He also earned the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from the American College in 2011.

"The business is not easy," Rob said. "I was fortunate to have some other opportunities to help me learn and grow. Working with insurance brokers, supervising registered representatives, and being involved in cases with Allan and Craig (Kilmer) helped me a lot. I learned a lot of advanced insurance planning concepts and even more about people." The experiences helped him learn and grow as he built his client base as an advisor.

The Hancock Group, Inc. has always strived to help shape the insurance and financial industry. "I had just graduated from Penn State and started working. Allan paid for me to go to the National Association of Life Underwriters (now the National Association of lnsurance and Financial Advisors) annual meeting. I had never even come close to attending an event like that. I was able to meet some of the top insurance and financial advisors in the country. From that point on, I was not going to give up," Rob added. Allan said he still teases Rob about attending his first annual meeting in Colorado. While at an elegant dinner in a famous hotel, Rob ordered a hamburger. But it was okay, as Rob would later become President of the local chapter of NAIFA and involved at the state and national levels of the Association.

Rob has continuously worked with individuals, families, and businesses to assist them in achieving their financial goals. His contributions to the lives of clients and his involvement in the industry have not gone unnoticed. Rob has received accolades, including the GRYP (Growth and Relationships for Young Professionals)- Impact award from the Blair County Chamber in 2010, and was selected by NAIFA's Advisor Today as one of the recipients of the prestigious Four Under Forty Awards in 2013.

Rob also believes in community service. In the past, he has served on both the Contact Altoona and Skills of Central Pennsylvania boards. Rob added, "Being involved in the community and giving back is important. It is another attribute I learned from being around Allan and Craig."

Rob has a passion for growth. "I like to read and listen to many self-development leaders like Darren Hardy, John Maxwell, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, and John Wooden. The knowledge and wisdom you can get from them is awesome." For fun reading, he enjoys novels by David Baldacci.

Rob and his wife Brigitte met at church in 2005 and were married in 2007. They have four children- Ethan, Hannah, Emily, and Zachary. "Brigitte and the kids are what matter most. Without them, life would be rather dull. Brigitte has helped me through a lot, and we are rocks for each other. I couldn't have been blessed with better kids, and it is fun to watch them grow and excel," Rob added. In his spare time, he is an assistant coach for baseball and softball teams and serves as a Den Leader for Cub Scouts Pack 30.

Rob also added, "There are thoughts I try to keep in the front of my mind as I go
through each day:

1. You never know what is going on in someone else's life. Remember that
when someone is less than kind.

2. The staircase of success is infinite. Make sure to pause to remember
where you have come from."

We believe Rob exemplifies the qualities of a dedicated professional, a devoted family man, and an active community leader. From his early days as the company's first intern to helping lead the firm today, Rob was and continues to be an invaluable part of The Hancock Group, Inc.