Meet Our Veterans: Kyle Evanchuck

November 11, 2019

When Kyle Evanchuck enlisted in the U.S. Navy at 21, he planned to devote his career to the military branch, proudly serve his country and leverage the travel and advancement opportunities in the armed forces.

After 10 years of service, earning multiple degrees -- a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo, an executive certificate from the University of Notre Dame, and a master’s degree from Columbia Southern University, marrying his wife, Leah, and the birth of their daughter, Emma, Kyle found himself seriously considering pursing a permanent shoreside job.

“Couple all that with my wife having a great job and us wanting to plant some roots in Ohio, it became clear to me over time that I was ready to transition out of the Navy and pursue a civilian career,” says Kyle, 32, who was first a part of the Navy’s Submarine Force, stationed on the USS MISSISSIPPI – SSN 782.

This fall, Kyle did just that. He left his shoreside duty as program manager for Navy Recruiting District Ohio to join The Interlake Steamship Company as its newly created Manager of Recruitment and Onboarding.

We talked with Kyle about his new position, how his skills in the military transfer to the private sector, his recruiting plans and specifically how he hopes to attract more military members into the maritime industry.

You’ve only recently made this transition to a civilian career track, starting at Interlake on September 30. Can you talk about how that’s been so far?

KYLE: I did worry that the job I would get after the Navy would leave me feeling nostalgic for the atmosphere and camaraderie of the military. I also thought I might miss the water and living on it from time to time. The option to pursue a career in the maritime trade while utilizing my military experience and skills as a recruiter was the perfect next step for me.

I knew the moment I walked in the building that I wanted to work for Interlake. There is something about this company and the people that work here that made me want to make my next move in this direction. The position and role of heading up the recruiting efforts for a company like Interlake have me excited to come into work each day. I am not just saying that. I really get excited about the work I am doing and feel good knowing I am finding the future of the Interlake fleet. It is also nice to help bring attention and excitement to a great industry and specifically this company.

How have the skills developed in the Navy transferred to this private sector position?

KYLE: The skills I gained in the Navy absolutely transferred into this job and helped make the transition easier. The men and women who work on our ships have a bond like that in the military in that they depend on each other to do their job to get the overall goal accomplished. My recruiting background and personal communication skills also helped me not only get this job but made sure I was going to be successful. I think using your military experience along with the personal skills you honed over time to find your next career after the military is paramount.

What do you like best about your new position at Interlake?

KYLE: I really enjoy interacting with the crew on our vessels when I get to spend time on the boats. They give me the insight and drive to find the right men and women for these jobs when I am out actively recruiting. I like traveling to various ports around the Great Lakes. I think I would never truly enjoy a job that didn’t require me to travel a little bit. You get so used to packing up and heading out in the Navy that I find myself getting excited to travel for this job. I like knowing that I am helping someone find a new career while at the same time I am bringing relief to our hard-working crews in the form of new personnel to help.

With the Military to Maritime initiative and as you look to recruit veterans into crew positions on our boats, what do you think are the most attractive things about the maritime industry for these potential candidates?

KYLE: The atmosphere is not that different from what we experienced in the military. This is not a 9-5, hum drum, boring office job. You travel. You get paid very well. You work with other like-minded individuals who work hard to get the job done. The time off and the ability to live your schedule more on your terms is also a huge plus. It is a great next step for any veteran looking to take their grit and moxie and make more out of it. Interlake is a great company and this a wonderful career. Another huge benefit to this company is you can live where you want to live in the country when you’re not out on the Lakes. You do not have to relocate or live in an area you don’t want to.

Can you talk about some of your upcoming recruiting efforts directed toward veterans and those currently serving in the military?

KYLE: I have several trips coming up to Green Bay, WI; Duluth, MN; Traverse City, MI; and Philadelphia, PA. I am most excited for the Philadelphia trip because that will be around the weekend of the Army/Navy football game. That’s America’s Game! I cannot wait to meet with and talk with other veterans throughout that weekend. I also can’t wait for Navy to beat up on Army and bring home the victory!  I plan on being at most of the events around the Philadelphia area over the course of that Friday to Sunday. So, if you see me come say hello and let’s talk about your next steps after the military. Because whether you’re already a veteran looking for that next career move, or a current active military member pondering whether to stay in or not, there is no better time to look at a career with Interlake Steamship. We want to hire vets because we know the kind of person it takes to put on that uniform each day. We want you to have a smooth transition from defending our nation to helping us continue to make it thrive.

** During his decade of service, Kyle received numerous awards and commendations including a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.