Driving, Budgeting, and Client Relationships

Father’s Day 2013: What Dad Taught Me


In case you have been hiding under a rock, it is Father’s Day on Sunday. A father (or father figure) is a child’s teacher and role model. We are shaped by what our fathers taught us and what we observed from our fathers.

Christi and her father. 

Whether you have lost a father, have limited contact with him, or have a close relationship with him, this day always brings up memories: good times, bad times, and the days you wish you had him back.

There is magic in the telling and remembering, so with that in mind I asked some of our team what they remembered about their fathers.

Christi Conaway

I learned from my dad that money can't buy happiness. We should learn to be happy with WHO we are, not WHAT we make. And I learned that honesty REALLY is the best policy! My dad is one of the most honest people I know.

Sarah is in the middle next to her father. 

Sarah Mitchell

I learned from my father that it is never too late to pursue a new passion. As an out-of-shape 40-year-old, he decided to start running, which soon became a 6-miles-a-day habit. He passed that love/obsession along to my sister and me, and we've been running regularly since we were teenagers.

In the same vein, after a 40+ year career at Exxon Chemical, he retired and now teaches about the Civil War, Shakespeare in film, and British castles as a popular teacher at the University of Texas' Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Miranda pictured with her dad. 

Miranda Nadeau

My father taught me empathy and perseverance; how to appreciate others’ emotional points of view and how to take things “one day at a time.”

Most valuably he has served as my greatest role model, as someone I can truly say I would be proud to become. He is still a continued guardian and advisor to me.

Jonathan Berube

Growing up in a small country town in Tennessee, my father was and has always been an extremely hard worker. He taught me the value of hard, honest work from doing chores around the house to my first job at Dollar General.

Jonathan with his father. 

He also taught me that you can’t depend on everyone to act logically; all you can do is prepare yourself to respond to the challenges that life throws at you. As he puts it, “Some people don’t have the sense to come in from out of the rain, and you need to learn that.”

Alison Finlay

In always being attentive and supportive of my mother, my father showed me the kind of relationship I wanted. He adored my mother and flattered her often. Oh, and he taught me to make a budget and stick to it. I have achieved the first part and I am working on the second part.

Paula Lemons

My father has Alzheimer's disease which he developed ten years ago at age 52. Although he is still here, I miss him very much.

My father taught me to always be honest and loving. My father worked hard, friended everyone and he was loved by everyone. Every day after work, he would bring me a Snickers bar. My love of candy and Snickers bars exists to this day.

A Mascheck family portrait with Marchell at
the front right. 

Marchell Mascheck

My father was a big truck driver in Kansas City, Missouri. I got my first driving lesson very late in the evening, and there were few cars on the road. Cars back then had no seat belts and were big chunks of metal with oversized steering wheels. I was just tall enough to stand next to Daddy with my arm around his shoulder as we drove down the deserted highway. It was the first of many teachings and a simple and quiet moment that is forever burned into my memory.

Aisha Kibwana

When I was younger, my little brother and I fought often. I am four years older and, of course, as a child I bullied him often. My father, the wise judge, would always remain calm and try to resolve our quarrels fairly without raising his voice.

He always taught us to respect people, "It doesn't matter who they are," he says, "always treat people with respect and dignity."

Pam with her father.


Pam Kutner

My father taught me to work hard and to never have credit card debt. He also taught me the joy you get from taking someone out for a meal.

Amanda Brady

There's no such thing as a free lunch. Over and over and over again. Never any doubt in my mind that I would have to earn my keep and make my own way. Thank you, Daddy.

Three generations of the Mann family.

John Mann

My father is one of the most intelligent and generous people I know. At a young age, he taught me to question the status-quo, to think for myself, and to be independent. I appreciate that when I need his advice or friendship, he is—without fail—always available. He also never passes judgment: one of his many traits I highly admire.

Dad is a young, energetic and fit seventy-four-year-old. In the last ten years, we have hiked to Machu Picchu, the Dolomites, and the Alps and it’s a challenge to keep up with him.

He continues to work out every day and maintains a busy international legal practice. He also has the stamina (and patience) to drive cross-country twice a year with a carload of cats. I hope to be as successful and as happy as my father when I am his age (with the exception of having to be a cross-country cat chauffeur). 

John Lamar

Interestingly, my father started his career in recruiting before becoming a successful CEO and entrepreneur. He worked hard and, as the oldest, I got the lion’s share of business advice from him at an early age.

John Lamar (center) with his father
and his son. 

The most important lesson he taught me was, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” If I wanted something, I had to earn it. At an early age I mowed, plowed, delivered newspapers, scooped ice cream…well, you get the gist. I remember being angry when I had to put myself through college and my siblings did not, but what a wonderful gift it turned out to be.

My transition to becoming a business owner has been much easier because I know “there is no free lunch.”

Bill Lepiesza

Though I don’t have many personal memories of my father (who passed away when I was three), some of the most formative, lasting—and excruciating—lessons I ever learned came from someone who was an important, senior father figure to hundreds of student athletes like me: my head track coach at Brown, Bob Rothenberg.

Bill Lepiesza with famed Brown
track coach Bob Rothenberg who
was a father figure.

Like any historic ruler, “Berg” was equally feared and loved, and aside from the timeless values of tireless work ethic, structure (including punctuality with the team bus leaving for meets at the specific time, whether you were on it or not), and setting and achieving goals, he both embodied and taught the utmost importance of personal character, integrity, loyalty, and putting the success of one's team before individual gain.

Beth Ehrgott

My father was a wonderful man. He was extremely loving and loyal, and his number one priority was his family. He was not materialistic and had an incredible work ethic. He worked into his eighties to help put me through college.

I was the love of his life. Whatever game we might have been playing—ping pong, rummy, pickup sticks, softball, etc.—it would be competitive right up until the end and then he would let me win, thinking I didn't know, and say “Great, Doll!“

Beth's father pictured here carrying
baby Beth.

Jessica Chavis

My grandpa was my father figure. He taught me how to work hard and how to take care of my children.

Jane Howze

My father, a banker, taught me the value of client relationships.

One of his customers ran a filling station on the other side of town. I remember every Saturday as a child, driving across town to get gas from his customer. We probably burned up half a tank of gas to give the customer the business, but my dad said his customers deserved nothing less.

Jane is on the far right and her father is standing
behind her. 


My dad also taught me to avoid debt or owing money. He would almost make the postman wait for him to write checks for the bills he received that day.

When he died in 1986, The Alexander Group was in its infancy but was founded and exists today on a commitment to long term client relationships.





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