Niranjan "Ninja" Yerraguntla, SAP Application Manager
CentiMark Corporate Office, Canonsburg, PA 15 years with CentiMark
Everyone has a story... but Ninja's story is pretty unique.
The short version
In 1999, Ninja was working as a consultant in San Jose, CA and looking for full-time employment. After a telephone interview with Joe Filtz, Business Application Manager, for a job at CentiMark, he took a bus from San Jose, CA to Pittsburgh, PA because he couldn't afford the $1,000 plane ticket. That meant 2-½ days on six buses with 11 drivers. 62 hours on a Greyhound bus! Sure, he saw Sacramento, CA; Denver, CO; St. Louis, MO and Pittsburgh, PA...but he had no idea America was such a large country. He had only moved to San Jose from India three months prior. After the in-person interview with Joe, Ninja started working at CentiMark Corporate offices the next week and never returned to San Jose.
The long version
At the CentiMark Corporate holiday luncheon in December 2013, Ninja was touched by Ed and Tim Dunlap congratulating each other on their 45 and 35 year anniversaries, respectively. His comment was: "Before I emigrated to the United States, I thought people changed companies almost every year. As I watched CentiMark employees receiving service awards for 35, 30, 25, 20, 15, 10 and 5 years, I started to think that what I had assumed earlier was wrong. If a company treats its employees well, and, in turn, they work well, there is no need to change companies every year." (Editors Note: 129 associates have worked at CentiMark 20 + years and 19 of those have 30+ years!)
Ninja shared his sentiments in an e-mail to the Dunlaps. Then, he shared his story with the Dunlaps of what it took for him to work at CentiMark.
After his interview with Joe Filtz in 1999, he started at CentiMark and began his life as a Pittsburgher. He has since married Kavitha and has a son he adores - Achyuta. In 2010, on Flag Day (June 14th), Ninja and his wife proudly became American citizens. For the past ten years, Ninja has been the SAP Applications Manager for his team at Corporate.
Ninja is so appreciative of his family, his job and his life in America. He credits and thanks Joe Filtz for being so supportive during his early life in America. "Joe suggested to me where to shop, what movies to watch (The Fugitive came highly recommended). I thank Joe for hiring me at CentiMark."
Ninja also thanks Greg Wilson, SVP/Chief Information Officer, who supported and guided him through the transitions of CentiMark, his promotion to manager and living in America.
"I thank Greg for believing in me. Greg allows us to explore new areas in SAP and supports/guides us at every step in the process. Lisa [Mychalishyn] and Stephanie [Thomas] in SAP Department make my job easier. The employees at Corporate and field offices and SAP Regional Coordinatorss have been very co-operative. I never felt like an outsider. I am always supported and feel at home. I thank them for helping me do a better job everyday."
Ninja celebrates 15 years at CentiMark this year and is looking forward to many, many more years to come. We're proud he is part of CentiMark's team!
- Education: Bachelor of Engineering (BS) in Electrical and Electronics from Bangalore, India.
- Where do you live? McDonald, PA (South Fayette Township)
- Family: Wife, Kavitha and 2-½ year old son Achyuta
- Most challenging aspects of your job? Keeping pace with advancements in technology. Working on ten different things on any given day. Keeps the brain sharp and the day goes by pretty fast!
- Goals for 2014: Professional: To continue to make CentiMark business processes better, not just for CentiMark employees, but for our Business partners (customers and vendors). Personal: To become more proficient in Sanskrit - not an easy language to learn!
- Three words that describe me: Detail-oriented, persistent, patient.
- Favorite Apps: HowStuffWorks, History Channel.
- Off-the-Clock Pastimes: Spending time with family and watching our son grow. Studying East Indian philosophy. Watching comedy episodes on TV - The Big Bang Theory, Seinfeld, King of Queens, good action movies and anything about the universe or science. In the summer, I like to grow vegetables.
- On my Bucket List: Grand Canyon, Western Europe and visit places near Himalayas.
- People are surprised to know: I have a fraternal twin - 13 minutes younger than me. At home, we are known as Ninja and Pappi.