Over the years, I’m often asked who is my role model or who I look up to most in life. Without question, every single time, my Dad is the first person I mention (followed closely by my Mother, of course!).
Some things that my Dad did as I was growing up gave me a huge stepping stones in life. The most important gift he gave me (and my brother) was financial literacy. Erik and I both had savings account passbooks when we were very young (4? 5?). We would take our payment from doing chores ($.07 for brushing our teeth, $.10 for helping with dishes) and deposit them in Sterling Savings. My mother faithfully drove us to the bank, with our bulging penny bags to make our deposits.
As we got older, my Dad upped the ante. He opened up a small investment account for us and taught us all about the stock market, how to invest, and the importance of dollar-cost-averaging. Because of his financial teachings, both Erik and I avoided the pitfalls of modern college years – massive credit card debt and overspending.
My Dad has also helped with most Bramble Berry warehouse moves (though he did manage to avoid the last horrifically large one by living overseas for a bit). He has been the de facto adviser for many Bramble Berry growth issues (hiring, firing, inventory turns, internet strategy). He reviewed all of my financial statements for Bramble Berry for years (3? 4?) as Bramble Berry grew.
In addition to being a great business person and financial adviser, he is also a strong spiritual and moral example. I know no more ethical person than my father (sorry Pastor Appell – you’re pretty cool too. And, yes, Mom, you rank right up there as well). He often makes choices that are neither the cheapest or easiest because he takes the moral high road. The impressive thing about my Dad is that he takes the high road even if no one can see him. He is the type of person to donate money and ask that it be kept anonymous, wanting no praise or recognition for doing the right thing.
These are but a few of the things that make my Dad amazing. I am so lucky to have grown up in the family I did, with the parents that I had.
So, Dad, Happy Father’s Day. I love you very much.