Penn State names Donaghy ‘Outstanding Alumnus’

January 15, 2013 -  By
Residex CEO Chris Donaghy, left, is congratulated by Dr. Bruce McPheron, Penn State's Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, on his Outstanding Alumnus honor.

Residex CEO Chris Donaghy, left, is congratulated by Dr. Bruce McPheron, Penn State’s Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, on his Outstanding Alumnus honor.

NOVI, MI—Pennsylvania State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences has honored Christopher Donaghy, CEO and owner of Residex, with a 2012 Outstanding Alumni Award. The Outstanding Alumni Award is the highest honor that the College of Agriculture Sciences and the Ag Alumni Society present to select alumni who have achieved notable professional achievements and brought distinction to themselves, the college, and the university. This award program is designed to invite outstanding alumni leaders to the University to share their special expertise with students, faculty and administration of the College of Agricultural Sciences.

After graduating in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in entomology, Donaghy started as a service technician with Western Pest Services in Parsippany, N.J. In 1996, he moved to Western subsidiary Residex Corp., where he rose through the ranks to become general manager.

“When I graduated from Penn State, it was a dream come true to finally hold a diploma, and one from such a prestigious university,” he says. “I carried my Penn State Pride into everything I pursued in my personal life and professional career. Penn State is an excellence-driven university in all that it represents, including academics, athletics, research, arts, humanities and culture. Most graduates were imbued by the Penn State spirit to achieve greatness despite the obstacles and challenges along the way. I was one of them.”

Returning to campus for the award gave Donaghy an opportunity to “reflect back on how I got to this place in history, and what I was able to achieve with a Penn State education, common sense and a whole lot of drive and determination,” he continues. “Many people at Penn State, including fellow students, professors and friends, made a positive difference in my life. In order to develop our success traits over time, we need influential mentors along the way. Drs. Alan Cameron, Neil Mercando, Chris Mullin and Abington Campus Laboratory Technician John McNulty provided me with opportunities in the classroom, laboratory and field that opened my mind to the many possibilities that were ahead of me. I sincerely thank them all for their support and guidance.”

When Western Pest Services was sold in 2004, Donaghy led a group that acquired Residex LLC from the new owners, and he became CEO and president of the company. Under his leadership, the company has grown from 12 distribution centers to 25, and now operates in 18 states.

In 2010, Residex merged with Turfgrass Inc., expanding the company’s offerings to serve the professional turfgrass market.

Since 1996, Donaghy has been a member of several industry associations, serving in various officer and committee positions.  He has been extensively involved with several charities, including the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, which provides hand-crank bicycles to enable disabled American veterans to compete in major sporting events.

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