>> Thursday, June 10, 2010
I have now been in Gallatin for 13 days and thought I would never make it to our "day off". Servpro boot camp has been intense (to say the least).
I'm now sitting in an amazing coffee shop (Cafe Coco) in Nashville and feeling reflective.. because that's how coffee shops are supposed to make you feel.
My feelings about this Servpro decision have wavered greatly since the beginning of the New Franchise Training Program. I went from totally pumped in the first couple of days to scared crapless by corporate. Not to mention, after spending 13 days sharing a room with my brother I have started to question this "family business" thing... ha. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't have a better family to go into business with.. but let's be honest... sharing such huge life responsibilities is far from easy!
What it really comes down to is more than just nasty restoration jobs, yearly earnings and franchise regulations. This business isn't just a business. It was created from the sweat and tears of my grandfather and has been passed down because of his amazing love for his family.
Luther Martin Williams: "Papa"
In 1969 my granddad became the third Servpro franchise owner, following closely behind CEO Ted Issacson and his partner, Tal. All three of them were Service Master franchise owners and became friends through the annual conventions. Ted and Tal decided to branch off from Service Master due to difficulty in chemical distribution with corporate. They began the franchise as a painting company in Sacramento and decided to expand the operation into a restoration company in 1969. My grandfather was among the first on board with the new franchise decision, following shortly behind by other former Service Master associates in Washington DC and California.
As a regional director, my grandfather recruited new businesses in the Southeast quicker than any other Servpro owner to date. At one point, he trained and serviced North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida all from his local West Columbia office. He was also one of three owners to receive the Humanitarian Award (pictured above) for his amazing contribution to Servpro and the local community.
Growing up I loved my papa for many reasons, but not because of his accomplishments. Honestly, I have been a little oblivious of that portion of his life until this month.
My papa was a truly humble man. He loved us so much and spent a great deal of time with me during my outdoor nature-crazy phase. Actually I was lucky to have two grandfathers who put up with my obsession for fishing and furry creatures.
When I was 9 I decided I wanted to raise baby ducks in our pond with an incubator. My papa knew the unlikelihood of me succeeding with such a venture, but bought me an incubator anyway (don't tell PETA..ha). We kept the incubator in his laundry room, which for some reason my nana approved of, and I filled it up with eggs every time I found a new nest around the pond. Out of probably 3 dozen eggs I successfully raised one duck to adulthood. My papa was so incredibly patient with me, gently reminding me that if I opened the incubator too often the eggs would not hatch. Looking back I probably shouldn't have been allowed to take on such a project (for the poor ducklings' sake) but it taught me a lot. It also brought me a lot closer to my papa.
To me, he was just a wonderful father figure who joined me in my love for the outdoors. To find out he also basically built an empire as a businessman and community leader is just all the more wonderful. Not that I'm surprised.
Since I never gave him any reason to believe I would ever want anything to do with Servpro, I hope that he is looking down from heaven and is excited to see Taylor and I embarking on this new journey.
I know it won't be easy, but I have the best motivation to succeed. Because, after all, it's not about money or accomplishments, rather it's about family and self-determination. I'm not going to disrespect my papa's and dad's hard work by not giving this thing my best.
So, there's my sappy blog entry for the week. I write these entries for myself, but I also know my mom religiously reads them so, there ya go, mom :)
I probably won't add another post during my stay in Gallatin, but I'm excited to be shooting a family of 9 in North Myrtle Beach next weekend! Stay tuned...
at 11:02 PM
>> Tuesday, June 8, 2010
You know how sometimes you can be blown away by people you don't even know? That's Casie and Justin. Their wedding (the people, the scenery, the decor) was incredible and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it as a second shooter.
My dear friends Sarah and Bryan Mudder (www.bestgalphotography.com- check them out!!)invited me to join them in shooting this sweet couple on May 22nd. Casie grew up in Georgetown, SC, which is absolutely gorgeous if you've never been there. Talk about southern comfort! Big, beautiful, mossy oak trees, sunshine and magnolias. You really can't beat it this time of the year.
The wedding was held outside of a country club and was orchestrated perfectly (minus a brief summer shower during the ceremony). Despite the rain, the members of the wedding party were great sports, no one's hair got messed up and the photos turned out fantastic because of the lighting! Funny how that works, right?
Not to mention the photos of Casie and Justin with their colorful umbrella might go down as some of my favorite wedding photos ever.
Without further adieu, the Tysons :)
You can check out the rest here! Thanks Casie and Justin for letting me be a part of your very special day! I hope to run into you guys again one day :)
at 7:56 PM