Meet Chris Onesti


Carol Wagner Leader Correspondent

Photo by Carol Wagner Chris Onesti is the project leader for the 4-H Aerospace Program. He is holding a drawing that his daughter, Graciella, 15, who is in the project, drew for him.

Chris Onesti is the project leader for the 4-H aerospace project in Shawano County.

Onesti was born and raised in Shawano, graduating from Shawano High School. He earned a degree in business with a concentration in quality management from University of Wisconsin-Stout. He farmed for a year with his brother and then worked in Green Bay in sales for a flooring company for six years. Since 2006, Onesti has been a member specialist at CoVantage Credit Union in Shawano.

Onesti and his wife, Rebeccca, who works at CRI, have been married 19 years and have three children. They live in Shawano. Onesti has also volunteered for Junior Achievement and in the business challenge and at Salem United Methodist Church in Red River.

Q What do you do for the 4-H aerospace project?

A “I was in the Waukechon Wildcats 4-H Club growing up. Now my kids are in it. I am the project leader for aerospace. My son took the project when there was a leader, but then there was no leader. I contacted Terri (Brunner) last year if anyone was going to take over. I asked what it entailed. This is my second year. There’s a lot involved in model rocketry, and drones are getting to be a big thing. In the project kids have to build a rocket and if they like to they can shoot it off. Kids had to be in it by January to show at the fair. But they can join any time and come to the meetings to get a feel for what’s going on. My meetings are relaxed. ”

Q What is the project like?

A “They learn about rocketry and aerospace. When they build a rocket, the main thing is the design. I buy kits and give them to the kids who join. When I was young I took it in 4-H. I would shoot them off in the back field with my brothers and then go and find them. The kids like it. It gives them something to do outside. I do awards and judge them on things like most colorful, creative design, and who can land it into the bullseye or get the closest to a target. I come up with different categories on my own. Last year at the fair one of the kids got a Merit Award. It’s a good learning experience to take something and put it together. When you see the rocket go off, it‘s very exciting.”

Q Why do you volunteer?

A “4-H teaches values. You have to take time and effort to do the best that you can. In 4-H you learn by doing like being judged face-to-face.”

Aerospace meetings are planned for the last Tuesdays of March, April and May. The next meeting is at 5:30 p.m. March 27 at Hillcrest Primary School, 1410 Waukechon St., Shawano.