I Got a Story to Tell

08/10/2022 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm CST Virtual
  • Corporate
  • Early Stage
  • Growth Stage
Event Start Date:
May 19, 2024
Event End Date:
May 19, 2024
Event Venue:

Join us for “I Got a Story to Tell,” where you will have the opportunity to listen to the personal and professional journeys of some of the most influential professionals who are recognized locally, regionally, and globally.

Please note that our finale on August 10 will be presented hybrid, with an in-person option at 1871! If you intend on attending in-person, all guests are required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and photo ID in order to enter. See 1871’s vaccination policy for more information. 

Next Week's Speakers

Pete Opalacz was born in Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Marist High School in May 2004.  After graduation he began college at the University of Iowa where he played ice hockey, graduated with a degree in Business Management from The Tippie School of Business and was selected into the Marine Corps’ Officer Candidate School (OCS), Quantico, VA.

During the summer of 2008 Pete completed OCS and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps on August 9, 2008.  After 15 months of intense training Pete reported to his first infantry unit 3d Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment in 29 Palms, California.

Shortly after he deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 10.1, as his Battalion was the first American unit to re-enter and a kinetic war zone in the Sangin District from the British Royal Marines.  He successfully returned from Afghanistan and conducted another 10-month pre-deployment training program, then deployed for a second time to the front lines of the war in Sangin District in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 11.2.

Upon returning from deployment Pete Opalacz was selected at top 1% of his peer group for further Professional Military Education and received orders to attend the Combined Logistics Captains Career Course at Fort Lee, Virginia in July 2012.  He completed the course as the Distinguished Honor Graduate in December 2012.  Pete then attended the Basic Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia in January 2013 and the Air Delivery and Material Officer Course at Fort Lee in February/March 2013.  

Pete’s next assignment was adjunct professor at Iowa State University and mentor/advisor for the Naval ROTC unit from May 2013 to October 2015.  He taught Leadership and Ethics, Evolution of Warfare and Amphibious Warfare and advised all Marine and Navy officer candidates, and was the Command Fitness Leader.  Pete was a summer augment instructor at Marine Corps OCS in May-July 2014 where he served as a Platoon Commander responsible for training, screening and evaluating Marine candidates.  Also, he deployed to Croatia in August 2014 as a cadre leader for the Army’s Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency Program and lead a Combat Water Survival Course in Split, Croatia. 

Pete volunteered to leave the Marine Corps after almost 8 years of service.  In July 2015 he accepted a Global Operations role at Martin Brower.  He led new business and/or acquisitions in Florida, Puerto Rico, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, East Lansing and Little Rock, implemented ERP platforms in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand and has managed operational projects in Sydney, UAE, Auckland and Toronto. 

Pete was promoted to Director of Operations for the Central Division in May 2018 where he led a team of 2000 people across 9 distribution centers with responsibility for distributing 130 million annual cases to 4000+ quick service restaurants.  During this time Pete attended and graduated with an MBA from Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University.

Then Pete was promoted to Divisional Vice President for the West Division leading a similar size team and scope, but with full P&L responsibility valued at 4 billion dollars in sales revenue.

Personal awards include: (1) Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, (4) Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Combat Action Ribbon and Martin Brower “Act as One” Global CARES Award.

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