Building Success: Patrick Garman’s Journey from Student-Athlete to HVAC 

June 20, 2022

ICC Class of 1990 (Business Administration, HVAC Technician, Commercial Refrigeration Technician)

Played on ICC Men’s Basketball team, 1988-89 and 1989-90

Transferred to Eureka College – Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration where former US President Ronald Reagon handed me my diploma!

Skilled Maintenace\HVAC and Adjunct Instructor at Illinois Central College

Tell us about the career path that led you to your current job.

While attending college and raising a family I worked construction jobs during the summer months to help pay bills while also working in the freezer section of Sam’s Club in Peoria. After graduating from Eureka College, my first job after college was as a Transportation Supervisor for a major warehousing / transportation company which progressed my path to becoming a Maintenance Supervisor for a local supermarket warehouse. Utilizing my education and construction experience I worked to improve the facility. I quickly learned I needed to understand HVAC and commercial refrigeration better to make good decisions regarding budgeting and costs. So, I reenrolled back at ICC to study HVAC. While taking classes I was hired away by an HVAC / Building Automation Contractor, Entec Services, to work for them. A General Maintenance job opportunity opened at ICC in the summer of 2002, and I progressed up the ladder to my current position. I will be finishing up 20 years in August, Boy time flies. After graduating from the HVAC program, I was offered an adjunct teaching position in the HVAC department where this summer I’ll have taught for 10 years.

How did ICC shape your future or help you attain your professional goals?

I learned a lot from ICC coaches and instructors. I played under Carroll Herman and watched Lorene Ramsey from afar. They taught me that through hard work and teamwork I could achieve many goals outside of sports. Also, I had the opportunity to be taught by many great instructors over the years. Some have passed away and others I see at the Cougar Plex periodically. What I learned over the years is that ICC is my surrogate family. I have many “brothers” and “sisters” that will help me in a time of crisis, and I cannot thank them enough.

What does it mean to you to be able to teach at ICC and educate future ICC alumni?

I like teaching because it allows me to pass on the knowledge that I have been taught and /or my experience during my career but also helps guide them. I just recently re-watched Mr. Holland’s Opus and love the quote by the high school principal played by Olympia Dukakis, “A teacher has two jobs: fill young minds with knowledge, yes, but more important, give those minds a compass so that, that knowledge doesn’t go to waste.

What advice would you give current students at ICC to succeed?

Don’t give up. There are many faculty and staff at ICC willing to help or provide guidance in your current situation. You just have to be brave enough to ask.