The Best Leaders Stay Smart

Lifelong learning can be the key to excelling in your life and workplace.

15 years ago, Chris Paxos had a bucket and a mop, a few cleaning supplies, a big dream, and a whole lot of motivation—but not much else. His dream was to start a cleaning business. He was willing to work hard to make it happen, but he didn’t have the resources he needed.

“Success is more about resourcefulness than resources,” Chris said. “As a resourceful person, I explored many of our community’s opportunities, and found the Library to be an amazing free resource!”

Like many job seekers in Stark County, Stark Library became Chris’ business incubator. When he wasn’t knocking on doors drumming up business or at the Employment Source connecting with other community organizations, he was at Stark Library. The Library stayed open later, so when the Employment Source closed, his next stop was the Library.

“For me, the Library was a business information resource,” he states. “As a lifelong learner, I continually use all of the resources available to sharpen my skills and build my business.” Chris read and listened to books to increase his knowledge. “Authors take a lifetime of learning and put it into a book. It’s just smart to take advantage of the information they’ve written.”

“The Library is a powerful resource—and it’s all free to those who take full advantage of what the Library has to offer.’—Chris Paxos

His story is a real-life example of the Library’s mission to Stay Smart, and offers hope to others who dream big. Lifelong learning is what Stark Library is all about. Our partnership with Ohio Means Jobs helps entrepreneurs like Chris, as well as other job seekers, connect with the people, resources, and services that can lead to better jobs and improved career paths.

“Some people say that knowledge is power,” Chris states. “I believe that knowledge is potential power. Taking that a step further, the Library is a powerful resource—and it’s all free to those who take full advantage of what the Library has to offer.”

“Many people don’t have resources, so they don’t have hope. Stark Library is one place to go to gain the knowledge you need to succeed.”

Chris’ business, A-Quality Facility Services, now employs more than 200 people and has expanded beyond the boundaries of Stark County—and it’s still growing.

“The knowledge that I gleaned from the Library while I was building my business created habits and skills that I use to this day,” Chris concludes. “I hope that my story inspires others to dream big, pursue their dreams, and never stop learning.”