Chris Donaghy named Outstanding Alumnus by Penn State College of Ag Sciences

Penn State'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.

A 1985 graduate with a bachelor's degree in Entomology, Donaghy is CEO and owner of Residex, LLC, a leading distributor to the pest, lawn and turf-management industries.

After graduation, Donaghy started as a service technician with Western Pest Services in Parsippany, N.J. In 1996, he moved to Western subsidiary Residex Corporation, 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.  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.

I was truly honored and humbled to receive the College of Agricultural Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award for 2012.  Returning to campus for this award, gave me 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.  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.

In the previous year I was recognized by my industry for outstanding leadership with the Crown Leadership Award.  Since I have never solicited for this kind of recognition, I am happy to be recognized for what I have given back to society and business by both my industry and my college.  Wherever the future takes me, my Penn State Pride will follow, and whenever the odds seem stacked against me, I will take a step forward to face the new challenges with the optimism of certain success.  I am part of the collective we in ‘We are...Penn State!

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 eighteen 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. In 2011, he received the pest-control industry's Crown Leadership Award.

He has been extensively involved with several charities including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Hospital and the Achilles Freedom Team, which provides hand-crank bicycles for disabled American veterans, enabling them to compete in major sporting events.