Meet Don Villegas: Bridle Trails GM & Veteran
On Veteran’s Day, Friday, November 11, any veteran with a valid Veterans Identification Card will receive two free slices at all Pagliacci locations.
Don Villegas, a native of Hawaii, joined the army right out of high school. A proud member of the Charlie Company, 1st Calvary Division, Don serviced M1A1 tanks in Bosnia, and later served 15 months in Iraq while stationed at Fort Lewis. When Don moved into civilian life, he took a stint with a military contractor in Afghanistan, then committed to living in the Seattle area. Pagliacci found Dan through an outside recruiter in 2007.
“I started as an associate manager at the Pagliacci Broadway store,” says Don. “It was an adjustment for me. The structure and hierarchy in the military are different than in civilian life. I had to learn to use more tact. It took some time to learn and grow. But I’d like to think I maintain the same standards and expectations I would as a military person. I just get there a different way.”
A valued employee from the beginning, Don earned a promotion to roving associate manager, a position that had him supporting all 25 Pagliacci locations. “It was interesting being a roving AM,” says Don. “You see a lot, and you meet many great people. Pagliacci always has its employees in mind. They take care of them. I have lots of trust and respect for Pagliacci.” Recently, Don was promoted to General Manager of our popular Bridle Trails location, and we are so excited to have him there.
Along the way, Don met his wife, Gigi Reitan, a long-time and valued Pagliacci employee at the Miller store. They married in 2010 and have two children. “We spend lots of time with family,” Don says. “We love to spend time together, cooking, taking trips, playing games, watching movies.”
Asked about his military life, Don says, “Every day, I’m a veteran. You always check in with your brothers after you go through something like that. You make it day by day. The things you take with you. You remember that you’re not being shot at, and you’re doing OK.”
As Veteran’s Day approaches, Don is readying the staff for Pagliacci’s slice giveaway. “I’ve always been very appreciative of anyone willing to support vets in the ways they can,” says Don. “It’s very gratifying to be able to hand out free slices on Veteran’s Day and say, Thank you for your service.”
From all of us at Pagliacci: Don, we’re very proud of you, and honored to support veterans. Thank you for your service!