John Donohue

Relentless. Optimistic. Passionate.

Regional Customer Service Center Manager, Superior Plus Energy Services

Hometown: Plattsburgh, NY
Age: Under 40
Education: BS, International Marine Transport and Trade, New York Maritime Academy, Throggs Neck, NY
Community Involvement: Active member of the St. Peters Catholic Church Community.

What’s your biggest professional success?

I believe the definition of professional success varies from person to person. I don’t base my success on compensation or title; rather, I believe I am successful by being in a position that I genuinely impact those I work with and what I do on a daily basis. Working with Superior Plus Energy Services has provided me with such successes and accomplishments; and I am appreciative for that.

What’s your dream job?

My dream job isn’t so much a “what,” as opposed to a “where.” I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors, whether working around the house or being on the ocean and casting some fishing lines. Anything that affords me those opportunities is right up my alley.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

The best word I would be able to contribute to a health work life balance would be, “Focus”. While I’m at work, I focus on giving 100 percent of my attention to the tasks and obligations at hand and expect to challenge myself every day with something new. When I’m home with my beautiful family, I do my best to focus 100% of my attention to them. I believe my family is the largest contributing factor to my successes and have themselves, contributed equal part in keeping my work/ life balanced.

What important lessons have you learned in your career?

There is no room for negativity. If you don’t like what you’re doing, find a new career. Also develop the ability to be self-critical. Ask yourself questions such as, “What can I do to improve my situation or job?” Don’t always assume your employer is to blame for your successes and failures. Exercise extreme ownership and hold yourself accountable for every success and failure. The aforementioned is some of the best advice I’ve ever received and has paved the path to the person I am now. The world is full of individuals who find it all too easy to offer excuses and point fingers; those who exercise extreme ownership and integrity seem to be harder to find, but they’re appreciated and valued all the more when recognized.

What’s the most exciting trend happening in the community right now?

I’m happy to see an increased number of recent college graduates staying in the area. The community has taken great strides in attracting these young individuals and providing opportunities regionally that are comparable to positions that may be found in the Tri-State area. I believe the key to our successful regional growth is part of a greater cycle—attracting and hiring talent locally allows the region to expand and attract additional companies and organizations. It takes progress to create growth. Look at Plattsburgh in 1997, having just lost the Air Force Base, and compare it to the Plattsburgh of the present. We’ve made great advancements and new companies are opening their doors for business every day. I’m excited for what the future holds for us.

What would make the North Country a more enjoyable place to live and work?

I enjoy seeing investments in our community. Plattsburgh’s downtown has attracted many new restaurants and businesses. Our beautiful Lake Champlain has attracted large fishing tournaments and tourism that the region hasn’t seen before. The school systems in the region are staffed by some of the greatest individuals I’ve had the opportunity to meet and ensure our children are receiving the best education available. I’m appreciative of what this region already offers and truly believe this is the best part of the country in which one could raise a family. It might take leaving the region, as I did, and coming back to gain a little perspective and appreciation for the finer points; but they are here.

Who is your mentor and what have you learned from him/her?

Easy: my father. Every bit of work ethic, morals, and integrity I have, I learned from my father. I won the lottery on best Dad; and can only hope to be half the man he is.

How do you contribute to the culture of your company?

Superior Plus Energy Services strives to implement a culture that focuses on safety—not only the safety of our staff, but also the safety of our customers. I’ve always supported, and have great respect for, our safety program, as it may be all too easy to forget that the commodities we deal with on a daily basis are flammable/ explosive products. Safety should never be overlooked when the consequences of doing so could be so serious. Second, we strive to be a best-in-class, linear-structured fuel provider that is able to work with every type of customer to accommodate their needs. The smallest residential customers to the largest commercial customers alike are top priority to us. I truly hope we make this evident to the region—no customer is too small or too large to deserve anything but top-notch services and products.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

When I was younger, I had a bit of a gypsy soul. I had no problem packing up and moving to new places and trying new careers. While a risk, I believe I always landed on my feet and made my surrounds and situations work to my advantage; I never even considered failure as an option. I believe I gained new perspectives and was blessed with the opportunity to work with individuals from all walks of life. I made sure I took in the smaller details of life—both professional and personal—and used that knowledge to my benefit in future endeavors.

What is something that no one would guess about you?

I’ve played Rugby Internationally.

Write a brief note to your younger self…

Set your own objectives and life goals, and surround yourself with family who unconditionally support you. Understand that there is more than one path to success and happiness, and that everyone defines those words differently; that’s ok. Shortcomings and failures are simply lessons learned and experiences someone else may not have; ultimately, they build character and knowledge. More than anything else, always push yourself to be a better father, employee, person of faith than you were yesterday.