When I think back as to how I got to this point it is truly is remarkable to be here. In August of 2012, I was sitting in a classroom at a college that was not Slippery Rock University. I received a call one night a few days into classes of the fall semester. Little did I know that call would change my life. To make a long story short, I was leaving one school where I was set to play basketball and moving overnight to Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania to be a member of the men’s basketball team. My brother, and current head men’s basketball coach at Slippery Rock University, was in his second year as a Graduate Assistant on the team. I didn’t put much thought into it, I was just overly excited to be reunited with him.
It’s amazing how quickly four years went by. I still remember my first ever practice at Slippery Rock University. To be honest, I missed my mother and father instantly. At that time, I had never been more than a half-hour away from them for an extended period and now I was 3+ hours away. I tried to quit the basketball team and move back home after just one day. Obviously, I didn’t quit, and man… am I thankful I didn’t. I was in a very fortunate academic spot as I had college credits transferring in from high school as well as a summer school at the university which helped me finish my undergrad degree in accounting and finance in just three years. My initial plan was to go into the workforce immediately and start climbing the ladder which I had hoped would end as a CPA. After several interviews I realized something; I didn’t want to have a career in accounting. What great timing, three years into my education, the thing I had studied and planned to be since 2008 was no longer interesting to me. Back to the drawing board, I went. I had a year of eligibility left to play basketball so going back to school and “figuring things out” seemed logical. The issue was I didn’t decide to do this until the midsummer of 2015. The roster was set and if I was to return to the university, I would need to find a GA spot on campus. Building and maintaining relationships has always been important to me. With less than a month to go before classes returned, a GA position opened in the Slippery Rock University Alumni house. I called legendary football coach George Mihalik, who had been great to me since the day I met him, and I asked him if he would be a reference for the position. A week later I received the notice I got the job. I went on to receive my MBA in the summer of 2016. Shortly after graduation, I applied for a regional position with an insurance company. Three interviews later and I was offered the job but there was a catch. They no longer were coming to the Pittsburgh area and my job would be at their corporate office…in Minnesota. I ended up not taking the position and I worked odd jobs as I was struggling to find a solid career path post-MBA. A college roommate of mine called me late one evening about a golf outing at Lake Arthur that was happening the next day. I gladly accepted and that is the day I met Mike Robb and Chris Lunn with ANR. I was hired a month later and from there they encouraged me to get involved with the community and supported me when I did. I can’t thank them enough for their friendship. It was from this encouragement that I walked into Stan Kosciuszko’s office to learn more about young professionals. Stan treated me with respect the minute I met him, and his mentorship has greatly impacted me today as a professional.
As you can see, it is truly remarkable that I am here today. I am beyond thankful to all whose paths I have crossed. I am excited for the future for not only the Butler County Chamber of Commerce but the entire Butler County Business community. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you all for your continued support and encouragement.