Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

June 16, 2022

Ahead of Father's Day, Mainers share business wisdom from their dads

Newspaper clipping and photograph Courtesy / Katie Shorey Katie Shorey, director of engagement for Live + Work in Maine and president of Startup Maine, shared this newspaper clipping and a more recent photo of her and dad, Ron Shorey, at a Tri for a Cure fundraiser.

Ahead of Father’s Day this Sunday, Mainebiz asked a handful of Mainers to share any business wisdom they learned from their dads. The responses were inspiring and touching, especially from those whose fathers have passed but are forever cherished. 

Self-belief, hard work
"My dad always encouraged me to trust my instincts, work hard, be an invaluable employee, and always believe that I could do anything I set my mind to. He was the smartest, kindest, gentlest, giving, loving and supportive dad I could ever have asked for. I hope that I make him proud by trying my best to be like him. I miss him dearly.”
Lynn Tillotson, president and CEO, Visit Portland 

‘Follow your passion’
“My father was a true Renaissance man with a passion for his work and his projects, including photography, wine making and communications — he built a dark room in our house, a wine cellar and ham radio tower in our backyard. On the work front, he certainly taught me to 'follow your passion,' to embrace new ideas and innovation, and gave me a love of building things even if it means taking a risk and learning new systems from scratch. He had intense relationships with his team and those he worked with and often they became some of our extended family/friend network, which I have done throughout life as well. It’s truly a gift to love what you do for work and have some fun along the way.”
Janine Bisaillon-Cary, president, Montserrat Group LLC

‘Communication is key’
“My dad, Ron Shorey, was with the White Mountain National Forest Service as a forest ranger and recreation manager for 34 years. What I learned from him: Communication is key. Whether you need something, if you have a question, if you’re going to change the plan, if you’re appreciative of someone - speak up and communicate it. This is generally good life advice as well. I remember growing up, my dad always left notes on the table every morning before he left for work. He would say where he’d be, what time he’d be home and if the plan ever changed he always called home and gave us/my mom an update. And he expected the same from us. To this day I try to take that simple advice and apply it to my daily life - in both work and personal life.”
Katie Shorey, director of engagement, Live + Work in Maine, and president and chairwoman of Startup Maine 

‘Making the pie bigger’
“My father taught me that for Maine to grow, we need to focus on making the pie bigger, rather than fighting over who gets which piece. This stayed with me as I did my Economic Recovery Committee work at the State of Maine during the pandemic. He also taught me how to be totally committed to a client, which has been a key foundation to how I’ve built Tilson."
Joshua Broder, CEO, Tilson

A committed teacher 
“My dad was a high school science teacher for 50 years. I guess what I would say I learned by his example was the value of hard work (he was always bringing work home) and the importance of commitment. I feel that I have carried these values throughout my career and have certainly applied them during my time leading Sea Bags.”
Don Oakes, CEO, Sea Bags 

Value of building relationships
“What I learned from my father, who was an electrical engineer and a sales representative for Westinghouse Electric Corp., was the value of building relationships with people in business. All business is between human beings, and it is very important to get to know the people you do business with and their stories. It is important to know their spouses’ names, their children’s names, and what they like to do in their free time. It’s important to truly care about your customers and your co-workers.”
Nancy Marshall, CEO, Marshall Communications

Courtesy / Nancy Marshall
The late Frank Briggs, father of Nancy Marshall, was an electrical engineer and sales representative for Westinghouse Electric Corp. He is shown here at an event in the 1950s demonstrating how atomic energy works.

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF