Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I was born and raised in Houston. I moved to Indianapolis soon after college and lived there for 7 years. I moved back to Houston in 2003 to be closer to grandparents after my wife and I had our first child.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
Myah is 16; Kyle is 14, and Janae is 11.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
My wife and I met in Longview, TX, got married in Mount Vernon, Washington, and prior to our wedding I was living in Indianapolis and she was living in Houston.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
Through each phase there have been people who have been a positive influence and an encouragement to me. These include personal friends as well as pastors and authors. The theme that is consistent through them all is our faith in God who gives us wisdom and guidance on all aspects of life, relationships, and parenting. It also helps me realize the importance of cooperation and community; we thrive when our focus goes beyond our selfish needs to the needs of others around us. To name one person, it is Tiffany, my wife of 22 years. She has a deep inner drive to serve our family and make daily sacrifices for me and our children. I don’t thank her enough.
Favorite things to do with your kids?
This changes over time and with each child. At the moment, I enjoy morning exercise with Myah and sometimes Kyle. Kyle and I have various shop projects we like working on together. We restored a go-kart and now we are working on an old jetski that he bought. Time with Janae is a bit more random. We like to swim, read books, work on puzzles, jump on the trampoline, or just play!
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
After years in the corporate world working in engineering and product development, I have recently started a local franchise called College Nannies, Sitters + Tutors. I love the stated purpose of Building Stronger Families, which fits well with my life purpose of making my world a better place for God’s glory. It’s a joy to meet the needs of busy families as well as provide meaningful, gratifying work to local college students.
How do you balance work and family?
I understand that my family relationships are important and will impact lives for generations to come, even eternity. Furthermore, relationships take time to foster and grow. The key for me is to recognize when business can wait so that I can have time with my family. The line is not always clear or easy. A farmer has to harvest when it is harvest time, but it’s okay to leave some grain in the field.
Best “Dad advice” you have received so far?
The best advice I have received has been by way of example. Starting with my father, he would frequently play with me when I was a child. Some of the things that stand out in my memory are “wrestling” on the bed, swinging in the back yard, and playing Monopoly. More recently a good friend of mine shared with me how he is guiding his 17 year-old son through a dating relationship, directing him to first establish platonic familiarity in groups and with family. I think seeing positive examples like that is better than mere words of advice.
Although there are some good words of advice that have been around a long time. Moses wrote this over 3,400 years ago: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Any “Dad Advice” you would like to share to other dads?
First thing I recommend is to work on having a stable marriage. This not only sets a good example, but it creates a secure and stable environment for your kids. As a Dad you have to step up and be responsible. Having said that, the reality is that divorce still happens. Don’t blame your kids or your spouse. Move on and do the best you can, or a little better.
When your kids are young, play with them a lot. As they grow older, teach them how to work, learn, and love others. Spend time with your daughters and be the model of the type of man you want them to marry. Too many daughters never experience a positive male role model and they spend their life struggling in hurtful relationships.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I have learned to appreciate a whole new community of people while starting my business. The Lake Houston Area Chamber has been a valuable resource along with other small business networking groups. We have a great network of local churches and organizations who are interested in helping each other thrive. Local events have also helped me connect and be involved.