As president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota,Bob Rosinsky has helped create job prospects for the economically depressed throughout the Gulf Coast, along the way setting up numerous national model programs imitated and emulated by nonprofits around the country. We spoke to Rosinsky about those things in the world that enhance his own quality of life.

My Father

He was an educator who ended up as a principal. The way my father is in the world really influenced the way I saw other people. He was always engaged with students and always influencing teachers, and had a way with family and students. He is a 70-year-old; I had him in first grade, and there is a depth to his caring about what happened around him that was apparent in everything that we did, and he was that kind of father too. My dad played ball with me until he couldn’t catch me anymore. 

Goodwill Mentors

Don Roberts was my predecessor here and a dear friend. In 1977, Michael Miller started at the same time as I did in Milwaukee, and so did Ray Bishop at Atlanta. The four of us have been instrumental in defining, changing and transforming the ways Goodwills work all over the world. The friendships continue today, I’m going out to Portland because Michael and I will work on the national mission. These individuals were really influential in terms of my career and orientation with Goodwill. We all have had intertwining paths.


I just went skydiving. I loved it. It terrifies our insurers, my wife and mother, so I won’t do it again, but when people say try hang-gliding, I’ve got 10 or 12 things I love to do already. One of the things I look forward to in retirement is to do all those things I love.

The Outdoors

I’m an outdoors person; I run, play tennis, fish, SCUBA dive and hike. There is no better place to do it than here. I get on the water as much as I can. When it cools off, I love the Myakka; it’s a great place to hike. I ski in the winter with my son and his friends. I just love to be outside. If I had my druthers I’d be on a boat floating down the water with friends and just float.


I love to fish. When you are younger it’s all about catching fish. Now the fish is just a bonus. One of the warmest memories I’ve got of my father, my dad and I would go fishing, but he is not a fisherman. I just got home from Wisconsin, and we caught a big bass, 2-3 pounds. It just tickled him. He was jumping out of his skin.

Science Fiction

I enjoy Tim Powers, Orson Scott Card, all the greats. My favorite science fiction quote is, “if you want to see a parallel universe, just look at the person across from you.” It’s so true, and I try to remember it when I work with other people or try to collaborate, or talk to teens. Everybody sees the world differently and that’s what I love about science fiction. The Martian (by Andy Weir) is one for the best books I ever read. Others are Ender’s Game with Orson Scott Card and Greg Bear’s Eon and Eternity series. What I love about those books is at end of second book with both, a character comes back and everyone is astounded by how they have changed. One shows time is just not as important as we thought it was. Think about how for us, everything revolves around time, and if you take that out of the equation, how different perception of the universe would be.

Nature Photography

I love birdwatching. I have had three Audubon prints since I came here. There are  no colors like the colors of nature. That’s true is if you are looking at a scarlet tanager or a yellow tang. No matter how good things get with HDTV, it can never capture the richness of the colors. But what I get from the hiking and bird watching and diving is the quiet, the peace. My favorite two places are 60 feet under water and being high up in the mountains. Both places whether you are with a friend or alone, you can really sit and listen to the wind in the trees, or the only sound may be the breath through the regulators. There is a peacefulness.


The variety, the depth. My two favorite instruments are violin and piano, and he uses those with such genius. My wife’s family is very musical and that has given me the opportunity to get music at a different level. Somebody once said music is the voice of God. It is truly; it’s rapture. I sit and watch the Philharmonic Orchestra and I think about what has to happen to create the sound, the cooperation and coordination. Like Michelangelo and Da Vinci, Mozart truly seemed to be otherworldly with the art he produced.


Ray Bishop and I would take barbecue trips. From my perspective, the best is in is Lockhart, Texas. If you asked me for my last meal, it would be a tossup between the ribs at Central BBQ in Memphis, the pork shoulder at Williamson Bros. Bar-B-Q in Georgia, plus the pork chops from Lockhart, Texas and that would do it. 

Mission Contribution Award

I received an award from Goodwill  Industries International, Mission Contribution, that recognized more than one or two things in my career, and the impact I had within Goodwill. Of all the awards I ever received, that’s the most meaningful.