Anthony Indelicato first served in the Corps when the AmeriCorps field crew term ran from fall to spring, right through the middle of a brisk Minnesota winter. He served as a crew leader at Three Rivers Park District (then Hennepin Parks) in 2000-01, then as an operations leader on staff for three years in the Central District. His tenure overlapped a pivotal time for the organization as the Corps transitioned from the DNR to a nonprofit in 2003.
That first term with the Corps, Indelicato’s crew worked mainly on forestry projects such as planting trees, collecting seed, removing invasive species, stabilizing streambanks and conducting prescribed burns. He remembers it as a character-building time, especially in the dead of winter while hauling equipment to a project site on sleds and struggling to fire up the chainsaws. But he also recalls working with an “all-star crew” of stellar workers who became good friends.
Beyond the physical challenges of working on a crew were the complications of managing a program during a time of upheaval. When federal funding was cut in 2003, Indelicato helped to run the Central District young adult programs when then-manager Erik Wrede took over as executive director of the newly formed nonprofit. The change created many issues to be resolved and he rode out the transition, picking up important skills along the way.
Indelicato now works as a Senior HR Generalist for f5 Networks and said his time in the Corps was critical in directing his career path. While serving in operations and leadership roles, he recruited and hired dozens of people each year. “I was doing HR work without really knowing it,” he said. He now sees that the mindset he developed in the Corps – dealing with the variables of weather, funding, safety, personalities, site conditions – prepared him for his work in HR, which requires fielding unexpected curveballs at a moment’s notice.
After his years with the Corps, Indelicato moved into HR work with American Refugee Committee International, which led to graduate studies at the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. With a master’s in HR, he landed an HR specialist position with Amazon in Seattle where he worked until his recent move to f5 Networks. “The Corps was essential in setting me on a career path in HR,” he said. “I developed important habits and owe a debt of gratitude to the leadership and my peers at the Corps.”