Mary and Dad

Some call me a “daddy’s girl,” and in my case, that’s a big compliment! You see, I grew up shadowing an entrepreneurial father whose successful career has been immensely inspirational in the development of my own and instrumental in the confidence that was necessary for me to open my own business. Dad is one whose ambition and drive mean that anything is possible. If you put your mind to it, work hard enough, and focus on the end result, the possibilities are endless. People may say that’s a bit idealistic; and I’ve been called that many times in my career. However, take it from him. After several decades in sales roles for a consumer products conglomerate, he decided to follow his passion for sports and turn this ‘idealism’ into reality. He created a business that enabled him to do what he loved most every day of his professional life and which thoroughly complemented his personal lifestyle. In 1974, building an ‘athletic club’ on a walnut orchard in the middle of what’s now ‘Silicon Valley’ sounded like lunacy. But Dad had a dream and nothing was going to stand in his way. Back then, there weren’t venture capitalists as we know them today, so he set off to create an investment structure, raise capital, secure a bank loan and sell memberships from a trailer to future fitness enthusiasts. Before I knew it, the Almaden Valley Athletic Club was born. (An unabashed plug for

Fast forward 37 years, his dream is more than alive and thriving. As a result, I, too, have developed a lifelong love for athleticism, sports and the latest fitness trends. Through the years, I’ve watched closely as Dad’s hard work and tenacity have paid off significantly—especially through the market booms, most challenging recessionary years, and when status quo. His agility and ability to lead with smart, tough decisions; make substantial investments in the business; challenge and empower his team to perform to capacity; and continuously innovate in his field have been exemplary. It’s these years of expertise and garnered wisdom that I’ve been so fortunate to tap into whenever I’ve needed a sounding board; operational advice; a confidence boost and a cheerleader.

While our industries are different, I see many parallels between the types of situations I’ve encountered as a business owner and those I’ve been lucky enough to witness managed by my father—from the tough decisions; to investing back into MSR; hiring and empowering the best and brightest team; and evolving our services to deliver the types of results that have measurable impact on our clients’ businesses.

Father’s Day is a celebration honoring and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society.* Today and every day, I honor my father, our bond, and the influence he’s had on my life and the many choices I’ve made. Thanks to his dream and entrepreneurial spirit, I’ve been encouraged to realize mine. Like father like daughter…

(*Definition source: