Tara Rocker, Director of Marketing, talks all things family business. Read her blog below or at: http://tidewatertalk.blogspot.com/
Working in a family business is unique. It is unique to walk through the door each day and say “Good Morning” to your co-workers and get a “Good Morning hug” from your 60 year old Dad. As you sit in your uncle’s desk while he is working in the conference room, your 80 year old grandfather walks in to chat for a while about the weather and what the customers are saying before he leaves for his daily route as the Customer Service Manager. On the phone your little brother calls from six states over to ask, “Whatcha doin’?” just like he has most every day since you moved out of the house to go to college 15 years ago. Just now after the small talk he moves to, “Let’s talk about the sales program and the projected growth over the next 5 years.” He owns the branch of the company in Oklahoma. Your cousins work in these halls as their roots are here also. You all went from fishing at the pond as children to fishing for business as adults. Then, your mind wanders to your own children. You wonder how their day is going, are they having fun with their friends, did they take their nap, are they happy? Then you think, “Hmm…they might like to work here one day.” As you look up a face as familiar as family pops through the door asking about the part for the truck that needs repair. You know this face as he has worked with your family business for 25 of the 32 years of your life. This person knew you when you were running the halls and playing pretend on the equipment. This person took your brother to the hospital when he was bitten by that snake while picking up hedge clippings that really hot summer. This person saw you go to college, to return, to marry, and to come back to the business to work alongside each other.
This is a glimpse of my morning. It is a morning of warmth, familiarity, and the feeling of utmost responsibility to maintain the reputation that the generation before me created. I love TideWater. I love being the Director of Marketing, the boss’ daughter, and that girl that comes and goes all the time. For me, I love these people. I love the three generations of our family that have the opportunity to work and create something new each day with generations of other families within these walls and across the country. Thank you, family. What a great way to start the day.
(A view from our annual conference this year. My dad (bottom left) and my brother (next to him) are both sitting with their hands on their chins.)