Column: Glen Rollins’ last connection to Rollins Inc. cut

By Maria Saporta
Friday, April 29, 2011

Glen W. Rollins sat on the next-to-last row at the Rollins Inc. annual meeting on April 26 while the other company directors sat on the first two rows.
What a difference a year can make.

At last year’s annual meeting, Glen Rollins was executive vice president of Rollins Inc., president and chief operating officer of the company’s largest subsidiary — Orkin; and the heir apparent to run the family-owned company.

But then last Aug. 23, Glen Rollins, 44, and his three siblings, sued their father — Gary Rollins, CEO of the company; and their uncle — Randall Rollins, the company’s chairman.

The siblings filed suit over the trust that had been established for them, and how they stood to be paid under the plan known as the Rollins Perpetual Management Trust.
That lawsuit led to Glen Rollins being fired from his executive positions with Rollins on Sept. 7, 2010.

The one connection Glen Rollins still had with the company was as a director on the Rollins board. But that connection was severed on April 26 when his term expired and he was not nominated to serve another three-year term.

Asked after the meeting what he thought of what had happened, Glen Rollins was reluctant to comment.

“We are just trying to sort it out privately,” said the younger Rollins, who did not linger after the meeting.

Randall Rollins said he was sorry his nephew left before the two had had an opportunity to connect.

“It’s just sad,” he said. “It’s unbelievable. I’ve been here a long time, and I still don’t understand it. I hate that he left.”

But when asked why Glen Rollins was not nominated to serve for another term on the board, Randall Rollins said: “I think that’s just a natural occurrence. That’s one he (Glen) chose. We certainly didn’t.”

Clearly, it was an awkward situation for the Rollins family, one of Atlanta’s wealthiest and most guarded families.

Gary Rollins said his lawyers have advised him not to talk to the press about the lawsuit.
“We are a private family,” he said.

According to the Rollins proxy, Randall and Gary Rollins own more than half of the pest control company.

The brothers also own more than 65 percent of RPC Inc. , a related company that provides oil and gas services. And the brothers also own more than 63 percent of Marine Products Corp. , a manufacturer of stern-drive powerboats and sport fishing boats.

Turnaround year

After two years of not making their campaign goal, the Woodruff Arts Center’s leaders are optimistic that this year will signal a turnaround and that they will meet their $8.8 million goal.

“We are doing a bit better this year than we did last year,” said Kurt Kuehn, chief financial officer for United Parcel Service Inc. and chairman of the 2011 campaign. “We are at $6.96 million, and we are at 79 percent of our goal.”

But Kuehn was quite aware that the 140 volunteers in the campaign cabinet still have to raise another $1.8 million by the end of May, but he said he is optimistic that they will make the goal.

The campaign’s Challenge Fund has raised $1.1 million — funds that will match all new and increased gifts to the Woodruff Arts Center campaign.

Beauchamp Carr, who coordinates the campaign on behalf of the Woodruff Arts Center, also is excited about the lineup of future leaders.

Brad Branch, Atlanta managing partner of Deloitte, will chair the next campaign; and Paul Bowers, CEO of Georgia Power Co. , will chair the campaign two years from now.

“I’m honored they asked me this quickly,” said Bowers, who was promoted to his post on Jan. 1. “We have got to have a vibrant arts platform in this state. It’s important for our education.”

Thanks to Gov. Nathan Deal, the Woodruff Arts Center also will be returning to the Governor’s Mansion for its annual salute to its Patron Circle of Stars — donors of $15,000 or more — this fall.

Dinner of champions

The TOUR Championship at East Lake will host a private dinner May 5 with developer Tom Cousins; The Coca-Cola Co. CEO Muhtar Kent; and Southern Co. CEO Tom Fanning.

They have invited more than 100 top Atlanta leaders and CEOs to the dinner, which will benefit the East Lake Foundation and the national organization — Purpose Built Communities.

Todd Rhinehart, executive director of the TOUR, is helping organize the private dinner.
The PGA’s TOUR Championship at East Lake will be held this year from Thursday, Sept. 23, through Sunday, Sept. 26.

ABA campaign

The Atlanta Bar Foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a $175,000 fundraising campaign.

The funds raised from the campaign will go toward increasing the Atlanta Bar Association ’s support to pro bono and community projects. The fundraising campaign will run until the end of May.

Alvarez takes helm of LAA

At the Latin American Association’s annual Compañeros Awards Luncheon on April 21 at the Georgia Aquarium , Carmelo Alvarez of State Farm Insurance became the new chair of the organization. He succeeds Mark Newman of Troutman Sanders LLP.

Millie Irizarry, CEO of the Latin American Association, thanked Newman for being a “dedicated and highly engaged chair for the past two years.”

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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