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Penrod Blog

New Hires – Chris Patera & Chris Ogor-Lopez

Lately in the Penrod offices, if you say “Chris” you might get a couple responses. That’s because we’re happy to have not one, but two new team members both named Chris (who join our CEO and third Chris, Chris Widmayer)! We took a few minutes to see what they have in common, what makes them unique, and why both are great additions to the team.

Chris Patera and Chris Ogor-Lopez are both masters in their own right—a quality that impressed the team from the very start. Chris P earned his master’s degree in sociology studying symbolic interactionism—a field that explains social behavior in terms of how people interact with each other via symbols. (We don’t know for sure, but we get the feeling he may use a lot of emojis.)

Chris O-L., on the other hand, has also mastered something few others have: spicy foods. “I’ve survived the World’s Hottest Ramen, a ghost pepper wing-eating competition, and the ‘One Chip Challenge.’” A food lover, he’s also a big fan of Thai and sushi, with plenty of sriracha and wasabi, of course.

Chris P’s snack of choice is a bit tamer, but definitely delicious: cheese curds from Ellsworth Creamery. He offers a pro-curd-eating tip for those not familiar with the Midwestern delicacy: “If they squeak when you bite into them, you know they’re fresh!”

So how did two similar-yet-different Chrises end up at Penrod? Chris O-L saw it as a chance for career growth. “At other workplaces, I was starting to hit a wall in terms of what I could learn. Surrounding myself with some very bright people and new technologies at Penrod was just what I needed to take my development skills to the next level.”

For Chris P, it was the chance to be part of a stand-out team. “I chose Penrod because of the culture and the sense of teamwork employees embody. It’s not common that an organization values their employees to the degree Penrod does. I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Chris O-L agrees.“I have yet to meet someone who I wouldn’t enjoy sitting down and having a beer or cocktail with. Maybe some Chex Mix Bold, too.” (Make that post-workday beverage a Guinness or Jameson for Chris P, who is proud of his Irish heritage!)

Both Chrises like to expand their horizons through learning at work, and travel when outside of work. Chris P likes to visit cities to see how their festivities stack up to Minneapolis. It’s been close, but he hasn’t picked a favorite just yet.

Chris O-L calls Whistler, British Columbia his all-time favorite spot, but “My couch is a pretty close second,” he grins, although neither Chris can be called a couch potato. When at the office, both are fueled by coffee (make Chris O-L’s a cold brew, please), the work they do, and the people they work with.

“I love to dig in and make things happen,” Chris P explains. “There’s always the opportunity to do that here.”

Chris P adds, “We’re encouraged to ask questions, which I really like. Communication is great here. It isn’t hard to get questions if you’re stuck on something.”

What makes Penrod different, according to Chris P? “The sense of community is extremely strong here. Continuous improvement, lifelong learning, and community are principles that Penrod understands very well. You just can’t beat it.”

Looking for an opportunity to grow in an innovative, dynamic environment? Penrod is hiring!