My RI Life: CEO & President of Collette, Dan Sullivan, Jr.
CEO and President of Collette, a traveler and philanthropist at heart that’s always working to bring these two passions together, and a grandfather to seven little travelers-in-training. I’ve been in the travel industry for over 40 years and have been fortunate to experience the beauty of all 7 continents and see places rich with history. Collette is housed in a building along the Blackstone River, just upstream from where the American Industrial Revolution began, the perfect spot for a company that breathes innovation, travel and history.
Food: My favorite Saturday dinner is beans and franks. My wife is Italian, so she’s a pretty great cook – her Sunday gravy (Rhode Island Italians call red sauce “gravy”.) is second to none and all our grandkids gather to enjoy it.
Restaurants: I am always up for dinner on the Hill, Camille’s might be my favorite for classic Italian. I always get the pasta fagioli. Once in a while, my friends and I visit the famous Olneyville for hot weiners and coffee milk, a Rhode Island must.
Shopping: I’m not much a shopper, but when I do shop, I like to hit outdoor venues like Garden City. Fresh air, restaurants and shopping is great at Christmastime.
Scenic Spots: I love going to Little Compton. I make an experience of it, using the drive to listen to my favorite music – on my own or with one of my kids – and I love the scenery on the water. I spend 150 days traveling each year, but coming home to Rhode Island is always very special.
Right now is a really exciting time at Collette. Next year marks our 100th anniversary. One of the things that we’ve really tried to do as we lead up to this incredible milestone is celebrate our core values. My parents have always been philanthropic and encouraged employees, when the company was small – just a handful of employees – to give back. As we’ve grown, this value has remained a huge part of who we are. Employees are given 4 paid hours each month to get out into the community and give back.
This year, we celebrate 10 years since we launched our global nonprofit foundation, the Collette Foundation, which helps children in communities around the world. Ten years ago, it was a visit to Peru with some of my team, where I really saw the dire need facing our global communities. We launched the foundation to help – and to make travel a vehicle for positive change. So for ten years, we’ve focused on bettering the communities we visit. We have projects in Cambodia, Africa, South Africa, Ecuador, India, Peru and more countries and are soon launching an impact tour brand. We’ve shared this beautiful world for 100 years with our travelers. And now we are giving travelers the chance to work with us to help in all the ways that we can through travel. So it’s definitely an exciting time at Collette – tours to all 7 continents, 100 years of business, 10 years of global giving (and many more years of local giving) – our employees and travelers are really excited about everything ahead and I am too.
Photo Credits: Garden City Gazebo photo courtesy of their Instagram; all photos of Dan Sullivan. Jr., including the one with his mom Alice I. Sullivan, courtesy of Collette. Additional photos of Camille's and Little Compton courtesy of PattyJ.com.