Patrick J. Murnane
Class of 2016
Patrick J. Murnane began his career with Murnane Cos., as a janitor and paperboard collection/recycling manager just three days after his 17th birthday — the first day he could officially work at the family’s packaging supplies company.
His story starts back on June 1, 1956, born to Irene Dolores and Francis Joseph Murnane, Sr., in Chicago, where he was raised with brother Frank J. Murnane, Jr. and sisters Dorothy Murnane Wehmer and Mary Beth Murphy.
Patrick graduated from the Marmion Military Academy before attending of the University of Notre Dame du Lac, his father’s alma mater, and earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance in 1978.
After five years with Murnane, Patrick left in January of 1984 to volunteer at Colegio Seminario San Jose in Guatemala. He then moved to California to pursue a dream of being a singer/songwriter. However, at the invitation of his brother, Frank, who insisted he come back as his partner, not an employee, Patrick returned to Chicago in 1987.
Shortly thereafter he met his wife, Mary Ellen, the first cousin of one of his best friends, Brian Manning, who suggested their initial date. The couple was married in 1989, and have raised three daughters, Irene, Kathleen and Abigail.
Of the influences in his life, Patrick says between his father and his older brother Frank, “there are no men I’ve ever known whom I’ve admired more,” and his mother, Dolores, “was an incredibly courageous person,” who died when Patrick was just 11. He says the sight of his mom and dad holding hands as they dragged a sled loaded with provisions during the fierce winter storm of 1967 is indelibly etched in his memory
Another major influence was Denis Johnson, who was his father’s “literal right-hand,” and who mentored Patrick and Frank Jr. and instilled in them the value of being incredibly well prepared.
Frank Jr. initiated the Denis O. Johnson Memorial Award for members of the Murnane corporate family and Patrick was highly honored to be selected as the inaugural recipient.
More recently, Patrick was honored by the NCA as its 2016 Supplier of the Year. He has served as Chairman of the NCA Supplier Advisory Board and as a Vice-President of the Western Candy Conference.
Faith has played a very important part in Patrick’s life, and the family mission statement is modeled after Psalm 127. He attributes much of his overall success to his strong faith. Patrick founded a ministry called Manna through his church and led efforts in annually serving more than 300 local homeless people. As a board member with Hope Ranch of Montana, he worked with his daughters to partner with a program in Ethiopia helping more than 600 children by developing and sustaining three schools and a medical clinic.