At the Celebration of Scouting breakfast at Mr. Anthony's in Boardman on Tuesday morning, Poland resident Perry Chickonoski spoke on how Scouting had helped him become a business and community leader as well as keeping his life on a positive track.
"Scouting truly does help prepare a young man for life," he told a packed house.
Chickonoski grew up in Struthers, and was a member of Troop 101. In 1979, he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and was named an order of the Arrow Vigil member. He also graduated from Struthers High School that year and went on to Youngstown State University. He said while in college he was taking a wrong turn.
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Perry Chickonoski addresses a packed house at the Greater Western Reserve Council of the Boy Scouts of America’s “Celebration of Scouting” breakfast at Mr. Anthony’s in Boardman on Tuesday morning.
"I was letting good study habits interfere with party time," he said.
He said he was favoring drinking and drug use over his college course work. He was on the wrong path until one day he reflected on what Scouting had taught him. That reflection got him back on track and he went on to graduate summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in business administration.
From that day forward, he said he kept his focus and worked in the public accounting field with a big six firm, followed by 25 years in the banking industry. He joined Bank One prior to the JP Morgan Chase merger and served as senior auditor, credit manager, and secretary of the loan committee for Bank One Youngstown.
For the past 15 years, he has focused on the small business sector, helping clients meet their financial and expansion goals.
Chickonoski kept the lessons learned in Scouting and stayed involved in his community. He served on the boards for the downtown Youngstown Lions Club, the Center for Community Empowerment, the Ohio Sales Tax Reform Incentive, and the High Pointe Assembly of God. Presently, he serves as treasurer for U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson's campaign committee and he sits on the Strategic Planning Committee for Youngstown Christian School. He resides in Poland with his wife Joy and three children Carley, Cami, and Perry III.
"Scouting really does make a difference in a young man's life," he said.