Dan Malechuk ’03 and Parker Lee ’19 may not have imagined when Dan interviewed Parker for the Park Scholarship in 2015 that one day in the not so distant future they would be colleagues, but four short years and a job offer later, that is precisely their relationship.
Malechuk, a Park alumnus, had previously acted as the Director of Corporate Purchasing at ALDI, Inc. but in 2014 had moved to a new role as the Vice President of Sales with Keysource Foods, one of the largest vertically-integrated seafood companies in North America.
In 2015, after growing the business from a starting point of zero to $54.2 million in sales over a five year period, it was time for Malechuk to begin a new endeavor. This time, he would be the Vice President of Shamrock Foods and lead the retail division of the company toward profitability for the first time ever.
At the time they met, Lee was soon to be an incoming Park Scholar with the Class of 2019. Today, he is majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing with Data Analytics Honors. After 2 years of study at NC State, which has included the added experience of working as a Program Assistant with the NCSU Executive Education Program, one can see that Lee’s career aspirations are not dissimilar from the path Malechuk has carved for himself since leaving NC State.
Malechuk approached Lee about an internship with Shamrock Foods in his junior year. Lee flew out to Phoenix to visit on-site and eagerly accepted. He then spent the summer between his junior and senior year in Colorado and Texas doing product evaluations to try and create an increase in revenue based on sales. Much more than that, he was able toshadow many roles across a wide variety of divisions in the company and holistically explore a myriad of potential career paths.
Lee says that the most valuable part of this experience was seeing different leadership styles “face-to-face.” He describes the environment Malechuk has created for his company as being similar to the Park Scholarships community – one that is “familial.” For example, Malechuk makes a point to reach out to to all employees, from top level executives to cashiers, personally on their birthdays.
After his time at Shamrock, Lee says he sees himself working in a sales or marketing role after graduation. He says, “hopefully in marketing analytics and also hopefully in management – ‘a leader using data for decisions.’”
It sounds like he’s on the right track.