Hometown Hero: Pete Cafarchio

Sometimes we think that being responsive to God’s vocational call on our work life happens once, and then it’s set forever. But Pete Cafarchio points to a different path, which allows God to shape and refine that path, learning and serving through our work along the way.

Pete Cafarchio lives in New York City and is a certified coach. He works with leaders in all marketplace sectors to identify and develop their leadership style, transform their team culture, and develop strategies for sustained growth. But his journey began with him graduating from college and working as a civil and environmental engineer, which he quickly realized was not for him. Discussing that season he says: “It was a private school and I paid for it myself, so it was expensive learning! I’m thankful for that discipline, though, and the skills I’ve picked up have translated.”

He quickly realized that he needed more people contact. So he and his wife made a big shift: working at a nonprofit Christian ministry in Harrisburg, PA. Discussing that ministry he says, “it was a community that was providing social services: long term housing for disadvantaged adults with one hundred of us all living together in a big boarding home. It was like an intentional community. It was a great place to be. We thought we’d do it for a year and a half, but very quickly I shifted into a fairly strong business role. I was doing the fundraising and public relations. I was learning it on the fly and breaking the organization into it at the time and took it very seriously. I became a certified fundraising executive, and we had a successful capital campaign. I learned a lot there. But after eight years, our kids were getting older. This was not the ideal place to raise them, and I just needed my next challenge.”

During the following phase of his career, Pete moved into the world of tech startups. He comments, “I knew I had an entrepreneurial bent and I like to start things. This is where my engineering came in. I love to learn technical concepts. I learn them quickly and I can explain them well. In the area of cybersecurity, I worked for a series of software companies. I’m not a programmer and I’m not an accountant, but I’ve done just about every other role there: sales, marketing, business development, product manager, project manager, executive team training, strategic planning. I love to wear a lot of different hats. I did it for 22 years.”

Over time, he began seeing a change in himself. Having experienced dysfunctions in so many companies, he began mentoring others more and more, which led to his current role as a coach. He says, “Now I’m in my seventh year of coaching certified by the International Coaching Federation and I run my own private practice. I’m loving it.”

Through his vocational journey, Pete has explored what it means to understand faith at work from the standpoint of building God’s kingdom, with the workplace as being a venue for that. He was introduced a book called “Annointed for Business” by Ed Silvoso. He describes that experience. “I read that book and it was like, boom, my head blew up. It went from two dimensional to three dimensional, almost four dimensional in possibilities. To understand where my frustrations were coming from where I felt so boxed in that the only expression for the amazing things in my life with my relationship with God was through church. Now, by looking at it a different way, the Kingdom of God could come, not in a churchy way, but in my businesses, with the people that I meet, and the giftings that God had given me, expressed with a little translation in the workplace. And once I saw that, the possibilities just opened wide and it was amazing.”

Pete and his wife live in New York City. They have two grown daughters who also live in the city. His website is www.petecoaching.com