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Beyond Bad Jokes: What We Learned from Our Dads

Pop culture would have us believe dads are all lawn obsessed, bad joke telling, tacky sweater wearing, voicemail leaving technological disasters. (Not mine, of course. My dad’s sweaters are perfectly acceptable, but he prefers to rock navy blue crew neck sweatshirts that have been aged to perfection.) But beneath their quirks (and I’ve yet to meet a dad without a quirk or 12) dads are often dishing out great advice or leading by example. In honor of Father’s Day, my colleagues and I share what we’ve learned from our dads:

SamanthaSamantha Delgado, Manager – Communications, PR & Corporate Responsibility:

My dad raised me to be independent and hard-working, always saying that if I want something, to go out and get it myself because “no one else is going to do it for you.” Most importantly, he instilled in me the importance of family, and being there for each other through thick and thin. Happy Father’s Day!  

Ellen Goldstein, Director, Communications and Reputation—Public Accounting: Ellen

I learned an incredible sense of direction while driving, and how to be polite and interact with people.


AdamAdam Junkroski, Lead Manager, Tax, PFP, S&C—Public Accounting:

I once had to give a speech for a class, and as I practiced it in front of my parents, I made it as far as “Mark Twain said…” before Dad stopped me. “Give them your own thoughts. This is your opportunity to share what YOU have to say with a group; don’t use other people’s words.” Ironically, I have quoted him above. But you get the idea. It’s rare that I write anything that includes a quote. Thanks, pop.

JuliaJulia Morriss, Manager—Advocacy Communications:

My dad always pushes me to be a better writer. He instilled in me early on that writing is a skill valued in every career at every company. He read every single one of my school writing assignments and took a red pen to every sentence. He taught me how powerful words can be and always encouraged me to develop my writing. I hear his voice in my head every time I write something reminding me that every word should have a purpose. I would not be where I am in my career today if not for him and that red pen.

HOCandBillHeather O’Connor, Senior Manager, Communications—Public Accounting:

My father spent much of his career in the insurance industry. Now, he has his dream job teaching risk management at his alma mater, the University of Connecticut. He talks about his students a lot. He wants them to succeed, so he encourages them to get out of their comfort zones and do what it takes to make a name for themselves. A few years ago, he asked me about my career. Where did I see it headed? When I hemmed and hawed, he pressed me. A year later, when I still hadn’t made any plans for my future, he looked me in the eye and told me I could not stay stagnant. Within three months, I was enrolled in a master’s program. He not only inspired me to pursue another degree, he challenged me to challenge myself. That’s powerful. When someone loves you enough to not allow you to stand in one place.

LizLiz Rock, Associate Manager—Enterprise Social Media:

My dad has taught me the importance of being there for the ones you love. He’s without a doubt the stability of our family. The one that you go to for advice (on any topic, whether cars or finances) or when you need someone to just listen and give you a hug. Watching him be that person for our family growing up has instilled that trait in my belief system.

StacieStacie Saunders, Associate Director—Communications and Member Engagement:

Spring is in full bloom in the North Carolina mountains. This time of year always reminds me of camping with my dad. He and his buddies would take a gaggle of girls into the woods for weekends of hiking, rock hopping and ghost stories. We learned lessons about nature, how to build a fire, how to avoid the slickest rocks, how to perfectly toast a marshmallow and how to make your own tech-free fun. Cherished memories that I am now remaking with my own kids. Thanks, Dad!

Lauren Sternberg, Manager—Communications: Lauren and dad

Things I learned from my dad:

  • The art of packing a cooler
  • Always have a contingency plan when commuting via Long Island Rail Road
  • Rubbing in your sunscreen completely is optional. Leaving a fine white sheen guarantees you don’t get burned (and your kids will make fun of you to no end.)
  • Don’t ask to be quizzed on your multiplication tables unless you have them memorized backward and forwards
  • Music is always better when it is loud
  • You can never have too many navy blue crew neck sweatshirts*
  • Start saving for retirement as early as possible
  • The importance of family
  • And, in almost any situation, humor makes everything better

Lauren WLauren Walter, Manager—Examination Communications:

My father is the true picture of what it means to have a completely devoted, loving and caring parent. Even with long hours working in NYC, commuting from Long Island, as soon as he got home each night, he lit up with excitement and would spend his evenings helping my brothers and me with homework, or watching the newest episode of The Simpsons, or just going for a walk around the block with us. I am so grateful to have my father in my life, and that my son can also have in him such a wonderful, dedicated grandfather (pop-pop). Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

*Yes, Dad, you can.

Lauren J. Sternberg, Manager--Communications, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants


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