How our dads inspire us

Body Content

Father’s Day is our chance to say thank-you to the dads who inspire our team of (add)venturists. From passing on the tools of the trade to cementing a solid work ethic, the dads featured here shape the people who keep our NICE culture going.

Joel Normandin
IT Specialist

All throughout my life, my father has had all of the coolest tech. Before having a family, he ran his own IT consulting business and worked on top-secret projects for the Department of Defense. After having a family, my father opted for more stable and safe jobs that required less travel. I grew up with a computer in my bedroom… in 1993. I gamed on Turbo Grafx 16, Sega GameGear, PC, and Mac before I was 6. We had LaserDisc for family movie night. We even had a Heathkit Hero Jr, an early programmable home robot!

My relationship with tech has been driven by my father’s curiosity. While I opted to lean more toward the arts, my father always supported me, but my career, like my brothers’, eventually made its way into technology. I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without my Dad.

Today my father enjoys making and programming his own custom home bots and remote control airplanes. His most recent projects are the autonomous vacuum and lawn mower.

Mary Sadlier
Executive Vice President

Growing up the fifth of nine children in an Irish-Catholic family, my Dad and his family didn't have much money. His father's sudden death when my Dad was just 10 years old made the financial strain even harder. He was the first in his family to graduate from college and he managed the cost of that education by swapping textbooks with a friend between classes because neither could afford to buy all the required books.

His career as a school administrator and teacher made him a natural when it came to sharing his knowledge with others. Post-retirement, after taking financial and tax preparation courses, he loved guiding people to make smart money decisions. He shared common-sense philosophies like "don't spend more than you earn," "invest money when you're young to compound interest," and "give away money and things you don't need because someone always needs them more than you."

My Dad's lessons in financial stewardship carry over to how I oversee (add)ventures' money. We don't spend more than we take in and we donate generously to non-profit organizations. To help (add)venturists, especially ones new to the workforce, we automatically contribute 3% of their salary to their 401K even if they're not ready to contribute on their own. We also offer financial education programs on budgeting, saving for college and smart investing.

Though my Dad died 20 years ago, I think he'd love that his lessons in money have truly compounded.

Fred Mathelier
Intern, Video + Animation

My dad's passion is and always has been building things. The way I feel in a Barnes & Noble is the way he feels in a Home Depot. Chairs, tables, desks, fences, porches — he lives in awe of massive construction. At first, I was annoyed that I couldn't spend more time being a kid in the summer, but gradually his excitement for new solutions and new tools infected me. 

I may not have retained the knowledge of how to set concrete or install insulation, but I did learn how to have passion. Thanks, Dad. I owe my enthusiasm to you.

Kerin Griffin
Accessibility Expert

My dad, who graduated with a Psychology and English degree, has co-owned an interior design and construction business for over 35 years. He is the most creative, funny, dedicated, and supportive person I know, not only in his career but in our family.

Why talk about his career before mine? He does what he loves and it shows. He's taught me tenacity, responsibility, passion for what you do, and to give back to your community. 

I live by the lessons he taught me: Be passionate and love what you do. Give back to your community. Be a good person with a great sense of humor.

Thanks to these dads and so many others for shaping the nurturing, intelligent, energetic people with character we love to call (add)venturists!

Michaela Kellogg
Creative Strategist

I read this poem decades ago and it reminded me of my dad, and I suspect this excerpt will remind others of their dads, too:

Those Winter Sundays
Robert Hayden, 1913-1980

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

My dad was never one to literally “awake in the blueblack cold to light a fire” for our family, but he — like many fathers I know — performs countless tasks that all too often go unnoticed, unacknowledged, or unappreciated.  My dad doesn’t do things to be thanked; he does them because he feels a sense of duty as a father to care for his family, no matter how mundane or inconvenient the task may seem. It’s one of the things I admire most about him.