Uncle Gar…there aren’t enough words to describe just how much you, your family and our friendship mean to me. You have “moments” in life where you connect with someone because of who they are and what they stand for…first time we met pal, I knew we were going to be fast friends. 7 years later, we’ve been through some highs, some lows, some middles…and through each and every one of these life experiences you taught me something and kept me grounded. Good begets good…and knowing that you didn’t judge a brash 35-year-old kid who thought he knew everything about business and life is definitely one of my “greatest gains” in life.
Your story is one that I listen to when you tell me and am just floored when I hear it. You’re entrepreneurialism personified. Your start in the business. The good fortune, the ups, the downs…the journey has been a cadence of highs and lows that are mind-boggling. Through everything though, you’ve taught me to not judge folks, to fervently stand behind those you care about (no questions asked) and to be available in any way to those in need. These are virtues that any person – young or old – should aspire to – and what I have tried to impart to those who’ve asked for my mentorship. They are “tried and true” no fail ways for others to see the best in humanity.
In business, you’ve been an ear, a shoulder to cry on and you might not know this…but you’re an integral part of the fabric that makes up DSM…and it ain’t just because we have the raddest phone system in the world. You have woven your way into our culture and make yourself available to help us BE BETTER. You never ask why…you always answer the call. An introduction, a word of acknowledgment and a reminder when we’re not doing something “up to par”. You helped us excel and stay grounded. You’re part of our compass and I can assure you that the direction of this company bears a lot of the traits you espouse to…and that will continue as we grow. You knew us when we were nothin’…and will be there to see us grow and impart lessons you’ve given to us to others…PAYING IT FORWARD.
In closing Gar…you’re a national treasure my friend. In business and life, with 100% transparency have not met many like you. You give yourself way beyond what you take in life. You’re an amazing friend and brother – age may separate us by a few years but I have very few people in my life who I lean on as much I do with you. You have helped me grow as a businessman and more importantly as a human being. I am not sure I will ever be able to pay you back…but know that I will always take the lessons you’ve given me and move them onto the next generation. Love ya pal!