A word from our founder
I firmly believe that you need to know who you are doing business with in order to build a lasting business relationship. A good business relationship is not always dictated by the best prices, products or best services. A good relationship is first and foremost built on common ground, respect, trust, and eventually friendship. Knowing who is at the helm of a company, knowing their core values and knowing their story will always make it easier for you to decide upfront whether or not you want to start a business relationship. As a Christian in today’s fast moving politically correct climate, I am vividly aware that the mere mention of my faith would make some cringe. I say this upfront because although I am the president of a reputable company, Christ is still my identity. My core values are NOT much different than those of the founding fathers of this great nation that we now call “The United States of America.” Below is a little about myself, although it’s hard to truly know someone just by a few written words, I hope that If ever you are in the area, you will stop by for a chat and a coffee.
Just ask for me at the front desk, I would love to pour you a cup myself.
Raised in a small farming community in rural Quebec Canada, I was the eldest of five siblings. Born to an American mother, and French Canadian father, my childhood was the typical Canadian childhood. Even though our family didn’t operate a farm, our home was surrounded by farmland. My dad, an insurance broker and my mom, a homemaker made the country house their home so they could raise us away from the hustle and bustle of the small city located 8 miles away.
Even as a young boy, if I got into an argument with one of my younger siblings, I would always get the same chastisement. Even if I was not the instigator, my dad would say, “You’re the eldest, so you should know better.”
Taking responsibility for actions, reactions, and decisions that were made as children were something that was not taken lightly in our household. We were all expected to help with chores, help the younger children and make due with what we had.
Although a lower middle-class family, my parents were frugal to a point. If we ever ate out in a restaurant, my dad would buy a soda-pop for the five kids and give us five straws. He would say, “They give free refills here, just take turns getting re-fills.” We never bought new clothes and instead went to second-hand stores. I remember taking one of my mom’s sewing needles and sewing a “Tommy Hilfiger” label onto one of my shirts so that I could “look” or “feel” as if I was wealthier. The upside of the frugality was that we got to spend more time together as a family. We got to travel a lot and visited many new places. I will never forget the annual road trips to Minnesota to visit friends and relatives.
On one trip, the old Toyota minivan broke down on the side of the highway in the dead of winter.
This was before anyone had cell phones, so we waited for a long time! Thank God for the friendly state trooper that let all of us kids sit in the back seat of his patrol car to thaw our frozen toes! We sure had our share of exciting adventures, which reminds me of this saying, “It’s not what you have that makes you happy, it’s what you do with what you have.”
One thing I can say for sure, we had love, and that never lacked. We later learned that our family’s frugality had enabled my dad to retire in his early 40’ies. This was always a dream for him, he loved to travel, help with Haiti missions, and spend time with friends and family. This was his way of doing what he always loved doing.
It taught me that sacrificing up-front almost always bring greater reward later down the road.
With strong Christian values, my mother decided to home-school us. An uncommon thing for Canadian families to do in the late 80’s. She would tell her friends, “I don’t want to send them to school where they can bring back bad influences that would affect their character.” We were a family with old-school conservative values that I firmly believe shaped me into who I am today. A little after my eight birthday, I accepted the Lord Jesus as my personal savior and got baptized.
In my later teens, I went my separate way and moved to the United States. Although a dark period in my life where I chose to walk away from my faith, there was always a little voice beckoning me to fully accept God’s free gift of forgiveness and salvation. I now look back and see how God’s plan of redemption is available to all no matter how far we fall. In my early twenties, I re-dedicated my life to Christ and started this wonderful journey of redemption, love, and forgiveness that God gives every one of us if we just chose to accept it. I know that my mother’s prayers were answered, her greatest desire was to see all of her children serving God.
Sadly, my mother passed away from breast cancer in early 2007. She was a wonderful mother, person and a saint in the eyes of all who knew her. As she passed away in the spring, we had Song of Solomon 2:10-12 put on her headstone. If you have time to read it, look it up, It’s a fitting scripture.
You can ask me anytime about my faith. God has done so much for me and the least I can do is share that treasure with you. Don’t fear, I won’t push it down your throat, or look down at you if we don’t believe the same. This would be contrary to what true Christianity is really about. But, if you have any questions, I would be glad to share the little that I know with you. Although little, it’s more that I could ever dream of and I know that this journey is far from over.
If in doing so, I can positively impact your life, in my opinion, that would be a great achievement.
As a boy, I would always find ways to make extra money. I tried everything from selling chocolate to making crafts with my sisters to being a busboy and dishwasher. For a few years, I delivered newspapers with my beloved golden retriever. I would put a harness on the dog and hook up to a sled in the winter and a wagon during the summer. I found out afterward that I was doing a route that was normally given to adults. I even enlisted the help of my poor sisters who were great at stuffing the weekend specials into the paper. No work was below me. I just needed to earn money so that I could independently buy things that I wanted.
When I was ten, I started working on a nearby farm. They didn’t really take me seriously at first, but I really wanted to learn all that there was to learn. I started by helping feed the chickens, cleaning the isles, the pig pens and pulling weeds and rocks in the fields. After having worked for a few weeks, the farmer said, “It looks like I’m going to have to pay you this week, so make sure you work extra hard”. I had not yet been paid and I was excited at the prospect of getting paid for my work. Excited, I told my dad that I now had a “real” job and was going to get paid for my work.
Later that week, I came home on my bicycle, riding as fast as I could, waving a crisp five-dollar bill and a promotional agriculture hat that the farmer paid me with.
My dad tried his best to hide his disappointment in the farmer for taking advantage of me after all those hours that I put in. Years later he said, “I knew he wasn’t being fair to you, but I also know that it was a good learning experience; that’s why I allowed it to go on”.
My dad taught me a lot about hard work, if ever he paid me for work, it was never by the hour. He would pay by piecework. This way, it encouraged me to find ways on my own to be more efficient with my time.
Words of wisdom
When I was just a boy, my dad said; “Josh, it takes years to build up a reputation and allot of hard work; but it only takes a few minutes to completely ruin it.” He never said it again, it just stuck with me and I know that someday when my children are old enough to understand I will have to tell them those same words.
I have been blessed with a wonderful family, a lovely wife and 3 beautiful daughters and a son.
They are teaching me not to take myself too seriously and to live life in the moment.
We live in a society that expects you to be connected 24-7.
I believe that this new trend is more than ever robbing us of precious time.
Unfortunately, the first ones to suffer are families.
If ever you can’t get ahold of me during a weekend or after business hours, you now know why.
After business hours, email is my preferred way of communication. I will try my best to answer as soon as possible.
In closing, let me make this statement:
I’m not solely interested in earning your business today; I someday hope that my children will do business with your children. And the same goes for our future grandchildren. My goal, with this generation and those to come, is to foster a service-minded attitude within our organization. Where people feel compelled to help others while providing a valuable service. The proper attitude of serving others really brings out one’s self-worth. And when you have it, you see the same in those you are serving. It’s an endless circle that I need to see more of, but more importantly, I need to be part of.
In my opinion, this would be the ultimate business legacy.