Former Naval Officer
President of Northeast Division, Orkin Pest Control
Patrick Chrzanowski grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania, watching his father, a Vietnam War veteran, work two jobs to provide for Chrzanowski and his sister. Chrzanowski remembers his father coming home late on frigid winter days, ice frozen on his trousers after spending the day in lake-effect snow, telling him, “Son, go to school, so you can use your brain and not your back.” In his career as a Naval Officer and later as a pest control operator, Chrzanowski said he’s learned to use both, taking with him lessons he learned from watching his father.
After high school Chrzanowski was recruited to play football as a defensive tackle for the United States Naval Academy. He was stationed first in Yokosuka, Japan, and served on active duty from 1988 to 2000.
“We worked 18 hour days routinely,” Chrzanowski said of his time in Yokosuka. “As a young naval officer, and having recently graduated from the Naval Academy, this work ethic and demanding schedule fell in line with how I was raised in a blue-collar, hands-on, fix-it-yourself upbringing in northwestern, PA.”
Chrzanowski added that the camaraderie, or Esprit de corps, he experienced in the military was the most rewarding aspect of his time there. For Chrzanowski, working together like a “well-oiled machine,” longer and harder than he thought possible, characterized his favorite memories.
As a leader who worked with people of all different backgrounds, Chrzanowski found this especially true.
“Mixing teams together, different ethnic backgrounds, male and female, southerners, northerners, Texans (yes, they really are their own group), Islanders, folks from out west – you could see the strength in unity,” Chrzanowski said. “And as a leader, you realized there really isn’t anything we couldn’t accomplish.”
It is this same sense of teamwork and working well with others as a leader that marks Chrzanowski’s experience in the pest management industry. In his civilian professional career, Chrzanowski has found that training and developing people is the most rewarding.
In addition to the teamwork component of being a leader in his career, Chrzanowski said he finds great reward in being able to provide for his family, following the example his dad set for him during his childhood.
“I am the proud father of two young men and two young women and the past twelve years have allowed me to provide for my family, even during economic downturns when many friends and family were going through difficult times,” Chrzanowski said. “My children see the work ethic that has been a modeled while working for Orkin, and they in turn are modeling a similar work ethic in school and in the jobs they are pursuing. As a father, this is important for me to pass this on to the next generation of leaders in my family.”
According to Chrzanowski, in 2013 Rollins committed to hiring 1,000 veterans over the course of five years, and in May of this year, the company delivered on that goal, having hired 1,177 veterans in various positions.
He added that the pest management industry is a great fit for those transitioning from the military. He said that the industry embraces standards that are present in the military, including uniforms, career progression, and ongoing training. When asked if he would recommend that veterans join the pest management industry, he responded with a resounding, “Absolutely!”
“The best advice I can give a veteran making the transition from active or reserve duty to full time employment in the private sector is to not sell yourself short,” Chrzanowski said. “Regardless of what your specialty was in the military, you bring discipline, commitment, integrity, and character to the workplace. Employers are looking for motivated self-starters who demonstrate a willingness to work hard, to learn, and to lead.”