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Discover the 5 Myths Sabotaging Your Hiring Strategy

Patrick Ropella can be intense, but he doesn’t take himself too seriously.

That's why, twice a week, he breaks from the hustle & bustle of running a global business where he recruits top executives for companies like Dow, Nike, Sony, and numerous other leading technology companies.


Pat working on hot glass creation

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Some of Pat’s paintings

His new hobby is far from the hectic business world of chairman and CEO of a major executive search firm & consulting firm.

It's glassblowing and painting, both of which are intricate, time-consuming exercises that let him focus on art, a passion since he took his first pottery class back in high school.

“I love art,” says Pat, who really found new inspiration by visiting Claude Monet’s beautiful gardens in Normandy, France last year.

With an emphasis on precision and patience, glassblowing and painting take Pat to another world.

"It forces me to totally focus, and thereby I decompress," he says. "I don't think at all about business, employees, or problems."


Posing with Claude Monet

Robbie crafting a glass piece

Instead, he thinks about all the careful processes required in glassblowing and the brushstrokes it takes to be a good painter.

While glassblowing has been his latest art interest, he did a lot of woodworking many years ago, and he and Robbie even used to make beautiful stained glass windows.


Pat shares his creative, artistic side with his wife, Robbie, and other employees.

They often go to First City Arts Center in Pensacola – a beehive of arts and artistry – for the glassblowing where master glass blower Sam Corman instructs, and to Painting with a Twist in Pensacola for fun painting instruction.



Michael’s oil painting on display
at Ropella HQ


Ropella team on a painting trip

We often take our employees as a group," he says, describing himself as less like a boss and more like "a brother" or friend."

Art lets Pat plunge into his creative side and, as scientists have learned, people who take breaks from work often return to the job more energetic and more insightful.

“That’s one of the main points,” he says. “I need to decompress and relax more, so I can problem solve and strategize with less stress.”

Sam Corman instructing Adam

Many of Pat's creations are displayed around Ropella's stylish corporate headquarters – which looks like an art and custom furniture gallery – in Milton, Florida, where he also actively participates in the landscaping of the property, another hobby and art form.

"It looks like Disney around here," he says cheerfully, referring to eye-catching designs on the wall and outside as well, where even crushed glass is placed in the flowerbeds, which adds a festive gleam.


Now that spring has arrived, Pat is back outside, adding touches to all of his landscaping.

Next, he's going to be working on a huge rock garden and a major waterfall out in the front yard of the newly built and expanding Ropella building.

"We're here all day," he says. "I like things to really look good and to be welcoming to employees, family, and guests."


Foyer at Ropella HQ