Welcome to the first post of a new HG blog post series, #MeetTeamHG, where we will be posting an interview from each person on our executive team! This Sunday, we celebrate Father’s Day, a national holiday honoring the 70 million men in America who play pivotal roles in the lives of their children. We thought this was the perfect occasion to kick off this series and feature the "Dadpreneur" himself who founded Harvest Growth, Jon LaClare.
There are many forms, definitions, and ideas of what being a good father or father figure is in this modern day and age. This weekend is all about celebrating some of those selfless men who are care-providers, solutions-oriented individuals and the "kings" of their trade. It’s about fathers who work diligently to ensure that their families as well as their employees don’t go hungry. It’s about fathers who have been successful in their entrepreneurial ambitions by believing in their dreams and setting an example for their children to never give up.
Jon LaClare has been a shining example of both a dad and successful entrepreneur (AKA "Dadpreneur"). He and his wife, Julie, have been happily married for 18 years and have always made it a priority to motivate their 4 beautiful children to live an authentic, purpose-driven life. As CEO/founder of Harvest Growth along with his impressive career background, Jon leads by example to his kids, employees, and those around him that you CAN create your own future as long as you set your mind to it, work hard, and always keep family at the core of your goals. Now if that doesn't get him the "Father of the Year" award, then we don't know what will!
Check out Jon's interview below to learn a little bit more about our "founding Father" at Harvest Growth. And to all you dads and dadpreneurs everywhere, thank you for all that you do and we wish you a very happy Father's day!
How long have you been in the industry?
16 years, and I’ve loved every minute!
How long have you been with Harvest Growth?
I founded Harvest Growth on January 1, 2007
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to Day 1 of your career? Honestly, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Producing infomercials and helping our clients realize their dreams brings me constant joy. It’s hard to believe that my first career was as a public accountant for Ernst & Young. It’s so different from what I do today, but it helped me shape myself into the person I am today, so I wouldn’t change a thing. I guess if I could give myself some advice in my early career, it would be to enjoy every moment as time passes by all too quickly.
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Westlake, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. It was the perfect place to grow up, but now that I am settled in Colorado with my family, I couldn’t be happier. I love the 300+ days of sunshine, the majestic mountains and the beautiful views in every direction..
Which celebrity do you get mistaken for? My high school and college friends always told me I looked like Jim Courier, the tennis player from the 90’s. My mom still tells me I look like Tom Cruise when I smile, but that’s just because of her mom goggles. You may see her make some comments on our business Facebook posts every now and then that will help you see that side of her.
What would you name the autobiography of your life?
“The Constant Pursuit of Change” From when I was a kid, I have always looked forward in life to what was coming next. I think it’s part of the reason I never enjoyed being an accountant, since I always had to focus on the past. In my role today, I focus on helping brand new products come to market for the very first time. I love that focus on the future. In my family life, we are always looking for new experiences, and I hope I have instilled that passion for change and growth into my kids.
Favorite recent brand experience?
I can’t pick one of our clients for this one since I don’t want to make it seem like I am playing favorites. One of my new favorite brands is UNTUCKit, dress shirts that are designed to be worn untucked. For me, they have the perfect fit and comfort, so I’ve been guilty of buying every new style that I see advertised in my inbox.
Favorite quote? “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” Robert Schuller
Least favorite chore? I detest putting up Christmas lights around my home, but I do love the way the house looks once they are up. A few years ago, to make my job easier, I drilled screws into our roof so I could hang lights with a pole and never have to get on a ladder. Now that it only takes me 10 minutes to hang the lights, it’s actually not that bad, but please don’t tell my wife. I get a lot of mileage out of complaining about hanging the lights when I finally put them up.
If you could go to any concert (dead or alive), who would it be? I love many styles of music, and I actually listen to music while I’m working to get the creative juices flowing, but I’m not much of a concert goer. I grew up a fan of 80’s and 90’s rap music, and just last year I went to a Vanilla Ice concert and had a blast. I guess what I loved about it was that it was nostalgic, but also that it was funny. I was smiling with my buddies just because we couldn’t believe we were 50 feet away from the rapper we listened to 25 years ago. If you could think of another musical talent that could make me laugh like that, I’d probably go to that concert too. Oh, and Michael Jackson would have been a great show too.
What is your hidden talent? Song-writing. I like to make up funny songs when I’m playing with my kids. Just the other day, my 7-year old boy asked me, “Dad, if you don’t like musicals, why do you go around acting like you’re in a musical all the time?” I am not talented, and I would never sing a solo in public, but I have a lot of fun making up funny songs with my kids.
Least favorite word? “No.” As a father of four kids, I have heard that word too many times to count, but I also don’t like it when people don’t think something can be done. And I hate it when the market says “no” to a cool new product. When we have a successful client launch, I view that as thousands of people saying “yes” to the product and to the campaign, and I get just as excited as the inventors.
What would you do if you won $1,000,000? I like to spend my money on experiences. I would take my family on a memorable vacation, or maybe a few. In the infomercial world, money can come as a result of the big successes we work on, but I honestly don’t do it for the money. It’s exhilarating helping an inventor realize their dream as they successfully market their product to the world. As I get more money coming in, I like to invest it in helping more entrepreneurs achieve that dream.
Do you have any particular topics you'd like to suggest for future posts? We would love to hear your comments!!