From a small Indiana grocery store to the worldwide oil industry
David Cherechinsky is using his IU Northwest education to succeed on the world stage. A native of Griffith, Indiana, Cherechinsky is the CEO of DistributionNOW (DNOW), a company embedded in the oil and energy industries.
But like so many other IU Northwest alumni, Cherechinsky wasn’t what many people think of as a traditional college student. Instead, he returned to school as an adult student after traveling throughout the world in the United States Marines.
Global, diverse perspectives emerge as a theme in Cherechinsky’s life. In fact, growing up in Northwest Indiana and working in his family’s grocery store in Gary provided him, perhaps, one of his earliest lessons in leadership and diversity.
“We had a wide range of customers at our store,” he said. “My parents were open-minded.”
When his time in the Marines ended, Cherechinsky was more than happy to finish his education at Indiana University Northwest. He said his instructors were fantastic, but the real stars of his college experience were his peers.
“Most of the students were working—some of them were doctors, nurses and scientists,” he said. “I got the most value from developing friendships with people who were in the workplace.” At IU Northwest, Cherechinsky found himself immersed in new perspectives and appreciated the opportunity to study with people from all walks of life.
And today, Cherechinsky is still open to taking in diverse experiences and points of view. After all, he’s in charge of a global company with operations all over the world. Despite being at the top rung of the corporate ladder, Cherechinsky manages to stay humble through it all.
“I’m still grounded,” he said. “I know that I have to really work hard, consider people, and act with humility and understanding.” Cherechinsky said that his family has been a big part of helping him stay grounded as he ascends to a top corporate position.
Although he no longer lives in Northwest Indiana, now calling Houston home, Cherechinsky has never forgotten the ways in which IU Northwest set him up for success. He often cites the “Midwest work ethic” as being instrumental to his success.
“I took [school] seriously. I got to know my professors, and I really worked hard with my fellow students,” he said.
Cherechinsky said that IU Northwest was instrumental to his success in that the professors promoted and rewarded hard work. While he said his personal experience may not have been as glamorous as others, the rigorous curriculum and dedicated student body set him up for success in the oil industry.
“It’s a great experience,” he said. “It’s a great place to take school seriously.”
While it would be easy for Cherechinsky to measure his success in dollar signs, he does quite the opposite. Rather, he says that success and happiness are one and the same.
“Being a CEO is a big responsibility as the future of the company and the livelihood of our employees are at stake,” he said. “If you’re happy, appreciate the humility and importance in the role and if you tap into the resources that you’re afforded, you can be successful.”
No matter your age, class, or background, Cherechinsky preaches that you can become your own definition of success with a lot of commitment and hard work.
From a small Indiana grocery store to the worldwide oil industry, you could say that Cherechinsky’s work ethic and diverse experiences have certainly made his story one of success.