Daniel J. Wawrzyniak, vice president of plans and operations, comes to Williamson with demonstrated skill in managing, supervising, and leading, gained while serving 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
During his service, he greatly enjoyed “making Marines” at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, Calif., as a series, company, and battalion commander. He said, “Marines are made there. I gave them their Marine foundation at Boot Camp and now I will be making ‘Williamson men’ in my new position here.”
He was the operation officer responsible for deploying and employing the Marine Air Command and Control System (MACCS) to Kuwait and Iraq for the I Marine Expeditionary Force’s “March to Baghdad” in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was the largest MACCS deployment in Marine history and included planning and deploying more than 2,700 Marines and over $500 million of equipment from 11 units spread across the United States.
He served as the project officer for the Marine Corps’ Air Defense Weapons Systems, which included the Stinger missile and the revolutionary Complementary Low Altitude Weapons System (CLAWS), at the Marine Corps Systems Command. He was the first CLAWS program manager and secured its first Program Objectives Memorandum funding.
And, he was executive officer for the Marine Air Control Group 18 in Okinawa, Japan, where he directed staff activities.
When Wawrzyniak retired as a lieutenant colonel after 20 years of service, he went to Lockheed Martin in Moorestown, N.J., as a business developer and program manager.
Early in his Marine career, he married Melinda (“Mindy”) and she gave up her teaching career so he could pursue his military career. So, he returned the favor by retiring from Lockheed Martin so she could pursue her dormant teaching career and became a “househusband.” She is now head of the Center School, an elementary school for children who learn differently, in Abington, Pa.
During this time, his friend, Trustee John Lawton, gave him a tour of Williamson, and he liked what he saw very much. He says, “The Lord led me to Williamson after I asked that His will be done. I’m very impressed with the people here and the school’s mission. I like the sense of service and that all of us are working toward a common purpose. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to serve here and hope I can do things that make at least a small difference in the lives of our students.”
Wawrzyniak earned a bachelor of electrical engineering degree from Villanova University on a Naval ROTC scholarship and a master of science degree in electrical engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School.
He and Mindy live in Horsham. They have two children, Madeleine (“Maddy”), who is a cadet second class at the U.S. Air Force Academy in her senior year, and Brendan, a sophomore in the Marine Option of the NROTC at Villanova University. Wawrzyniak’s father also attended Villanova University on an NROTC scholarship and served in the Marines.
Wawrzyniak grew up in Marlton, N.J., and attended Cherokee High School.
His other activities include serving the American Legion Post #10 in Ft. Washington as vice commander and president of Legion Riders, a group that rides Harley motorcycles to raise money for charities. He also is a volunteer at the Delaware Valley’s Veterans Home, enjoys model railroading, and works on his “Honey Do” list. Earlier he was a woodworker and furniture maker and his son’s Little League coach.