Raising kids is no easy task, especially when you’re also busy running your own business. With Father’s Day around the corner, we’ve rounded up 16 heartwarming stories around memories and proud moments from dads at the head of family-owned businesses. Maybe some of these stories will inspire you to share your proudest moments with someone special this Father’s Day.
: Cairn Leadership Strategies
Camping in the snow can have its challenges. Camping in the snow with a five-month-old is… something else entirely. But for Knight Campbell, the experience of spending time outdoors with his daughter is among his proudest moment as a father. Owner of Cairn Leadership, a company that strives to help leaders thrive outdoors, Campbell introduced his daughter to the wilderness at a young age. Campbell and his wife thought the best way to ease her in was to spend the night in a snow cave in Washington. The morning after their stay, Campbell’s wife handed him their daughter when she opened her eyes and took in Mt. Shuksan. Even as a baby, the expression on her face showed the same awe Campbell feels every time he heads into the mountains. This experience empowered him to continue introducing her to the outdoors, and he looks forward to reliving the same wonders in her eyes as they continue to explore the world together.
: Scheinker Wealth Advisors of Janney Montgomery Scott
In response to a recent media request from Finder, Gerald Scheinker said his proudest moment as a father involved realizing his son was officially smarter than him. Gerald has spent his entire career as a stockbroker, getting his start at Legg Mason in Baltimore. In 1998, his son joined him at Legg Mason, where they fused his relationship-focused ethos with Gerald’s transactional mindset to become an unstoppable team. Together, they managed to build more than $1 billion in client assets. Both men continue to lead the group, leaving Gerald to breathe a sigh of relief “knowing his son has the smarts to succeed.”
: Moriarty’s Gem Art
The first day his two sons worked at Moriarty’s Gem Art was Steve Moriarty’s proudest day as a father. With a seven-year age gap between his sons, Steve patiently waited for them to try out the family business at the same time. Today, one son focuses on driving the brick-and-mortar store and the other manages the website, combining their unique skills while working alongside their dad. A decade of business behind them, the three continue to make an impressive team — and Steve says he wouldn’t give up those years for anything.
There’s never a time when Martin Luenendonk isn’t proud of his daughter. But a particular memory always floats to the top: The time when his then 3-year-old daughter turned to him, pointedly, and began reading five-letter words. This moment reinforced his ideas about how kids and adults develop. He realized that to enhance learning, your surrounding environment must encourage communication and expression. As CEO and founder of AI-driven employment platform Cleverism, Martin dedicates his professional life to helping people enhance their professional experiences as well.
: The Savvy Couple
Seven months into being a stay-at-home dad, Kelan Kline experienced his favorite moment of fatherhood when his daughter babbled “da da” for the first time. Kelan and his wife, Brittany, run the Savvy Couple, a personal finance and lifestyle blog. Kelan’s job means he can work from home, helping him to be present at milestones like his daughter’s first attempt at vocalizing and communicating with him.
: Isaiah Industries
The first job Todd Miller’s son ever had was working for the family business, Isaiah Industries. Todd’s proudest moment as a father was when he discovered just how his son chose to spend his earnings — by donating to the family church. In addition to the hard work he was contributing to the business, Todd was pleased to see the responsibility his son displayed without any discussion or advice from Dad.
: Morley Canvas
David Hamilton started involving his children in the business when they were young. Between owning and managing Morley Canvas — a custom canvas manufacturing company — David dedicated most of his time to working at the factory. But by integrating his kids into his work, David could spend time with his family and still succeed professionally. This involvement transformed into David’s two sons, David and Phil, taking more responsibility in the business. Watching his boys learn new skills and thrive as business managers is David’s biggest accomplishment as a father.
: Full Armor Insurance LLC
Matt Vickery founded independent insurance agency Full Armor Insurance about a year and a half ago, working from home to save money. It means his son, Griffin, often overhears Dad working in his office. A few weeks ago, Matt heard Griffin tell a friend that his dad “sells business cards and chocolates for work.” While far from the reality of Matt’s job, it’s something he does as a part of his work: Each month, he delivers jars of chocolates to colleagues and customers to thank them for their support of his business. Hearing his son speak proudly about his dad made it clear how much Griffin looks up to him. Matt can’t promise that he’ll be perfect, but he can promise his son that he’ll do his best. And he’s wondering how much longer until Griffin realizes he doesn’t want to grow up to sell business cards and chocolate.
: Patient Pop
Kevin Dorsey is VP of sales at an LA software company, but he and his wife also own two side businesses. With a full schedule, family vacations are an important time to relax and spend time together. Kevin’s family encountered setbacks on a recent trip to Costa Rica, resulting in frustration for all. They headed off to decompress over lunch, where Kevin overheard his daughters talking about launching their own business, the “Bug and Bear Smoothie Shop.” The girls discussed what they would serve and their options for various ages. Kevin realized his kids had been listening to and learning from he and his wife’s conversations, resulting in a moment that’s become his happiest and proudest as a father.
: Assisted Living, Seniorly
Nearly two years ago, Mark Wolff, his wife and their children moved away from the only home they’ve ever known to start a senior care authority franchise in Sacramento. Mark knew how hard it was for his daughters to leave their friends, sports teams and school. While the adjustment took some time, his girls are now thriving in their new home. They’ve met new friends, joined new teams and dedicated their time to charitable events. It makes Mark proud as a father that his girls showed courage to take on a new campus “to find success once again.”
: Uncorked Ventures
Mark Aseltine’s children prove that little kids can be resilient and fearless. After Mark’s older son fell off his bike and broke his arm, he had four months of personal training and a long recovery period. But it didn’t take long for his son to grab his helmet, hop back on his bike and pedal away. Meanwhile, his 3-year-old cheered his brother on. The courage of his older son and the empathy his younger showed made Mark extremely proud to be their father. Mark lives in California with his family, where he runs the small business Uncorked Ventures.
: Alta Mere
Owner of Alta Mere, Greg Goodman always hoped his son, Chandler, would take over the family-owned store in Oklahoma City. Chandler had plans to pursue a career in architecture, but to Greg’s surprise, he had a change of heart and decided his passion lies within the family business he’s grown up around. Chandler will join the family business, Alta Mere, with a business and finance degree to work alongside his father, who has 35 years of expertise. Greg is proud to know his son is eager to take over the store — and excited to build a great system with his son.
: Secure Records Solutions
Powell Jones founded document management company Secure Record Solutions in 2003. Eight years later, Powell’s oldest son, Christopher, joined the family business, where he’s “brought fresh, new ideas and helped significantly grow the business.” Active in his industry, Christopher was elected president of the industry association PRISM International. He’s since pulled off a successful merger that affected thousands of members around the world. Powell is proud to watch his son rise in the ranks of their industry.
Damon Inlow is the owner of Vaporizers.ca, a family-owned business he’s operated for 15 years. Running the shipping and inventory department out of his home, Damon often works with his 12-year-old Juliette, who has autism and is nonverbal. Juliette shows an interest in her dad’s work, and after a long week of working without his partner, Damon enlisted her help. Together, Damon and Juliette sent emails, made boxes and laid out orders. Damon could soon list off what he needed and Juliette would happily collect and deliver the items to him, finishing the day by printing labels and dropping the boxes off at the post office. Juliette had spent the whole day by her dad’s side, helpful and positive. Damon was so proud that his little helper had contributed to his business’s success. “Despite what people say about autism,” Damon explains, “my little girl was more than capable of following a schedule and doing tasks that would enable her to contribute to our family business — or other businesses — when she reaches adulthood.
: Nature Gnaws
Cofounder of natural dog-chew company Nature Gnaws, Jay Mokbel often feels guilty for working late nights and weekends. After an evening with his family, Jay and his 3-year-old son were spending time together when his son looked up and asked him with sincerity, “Dad, are we best friends?” In that moment, Jay realized it’s not about how much time he spends with his son, but rather the quality of that time. And that moment with his “best friend” is now among his proudest.
Hal and Matson MagleyCompany
: Rocco & Roxie Supply Co.
Hal and Matson Magleby are cofounders of Rocco & Roxie Supply Co., a pet startup in Park City, Utah. Founded from the Magleby’s kitchen table, the business has grown into a new 8,000-square-foot office and warehouse in a mere six years, thanks in part to Hal’s three sons. Hal’s son Matson is grateful for the ability to hire five of his kids as he’s grown the business, where he works with his dad, brothers, kids and grandkids every day.
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