I Belong: Meet Ron


Meet Ron | Supervisor – DC22 – Bethel, PA

Hello PetSmart family! I joined the United States Army at 17, right after graduating high school, and I never looked back. Those initial years consisted of many firsts for me; riding on a Greyhound bus, flying in an airplane, and being away from home. It may sound bizarre, but coming from a small town in Pennsylvania, those moments were the beginning of almost three decades of a lifetime that I would never change. I spent 27 years, 11 months, and 14 days in the Army (but who’s counting) as an armor crewman. I held every position on the tank and retired from the Army as a First Sergeant.


I first found PetSmart while going through the Army’s transition program. While building my Indeed profile, I discovered that PetSmart was looking for supervisors for their DC in Bethel, PA. I figured, “what the heck, apply and see what happens.” A few weeks later, I received a call from PetSmart and had my first phone interview. Following that, I had the HR team from the DC reach out and set up my following interview. I was unfamiliar with the civilian workforce, so I thought I would have to drive up to PA from Fort Benning, GA, to have that interview. I started planning my trip but was surprised when they said they would have a video interview and that it would be through the DC in Newnan, GA. That was the first of many things that surprised me about this company. They stepped up and supported me by coordinating that interview, alleviating the burden on me. I was worried I would not fit in, but everyone I met on my first day made me feel welcome. This was four and a half years ago, and I’ve never looked back.


PetSmart is constantly evolving, and I can see that every day. The annual associate survey is one thing that drives that evolution. The voices of all associates are heard through that survey; it may take a little to get new things going, but PetSmart does care about its associates. PetSmart’s culture has allowed me to be me. I have support from my leaders, and numerous leaders have embraced my military service and leadership style at the DC.


Veteran’s Day, for me, is a day I can reflect on my time in the service, places I have been, people I have met, friendships created, and knowing I would do it all over again. As a veteran, I am very humbled to have served my country. Being part of Petsmart's Associate Resource Group, SERVE, allows veterans like me the opportunity to make new connections and share experiences with fellow veterans and others who want to honor veterans.

 

The Belonging Program’s “I Belong” Series harnesses the power of empathy through storytelling. This series is intended to give associates a greater sense of understanding, a bridge to gain new perspective, and a way to build connection to each other.