They’ve supported their children, gave us all baseball, fought for civil rights, and more. Meet some of our favorite featured fathers.
Single dad is saving up for his son to go to college
Jesse Swanagan didn’t know what to expect when he walked into his son’s charter school in St. Louis a few years ago.
After all, his son Jesse III was just a kindergartner; college was the furthest thing from his mind.
Jesse Swanagan, Focus on College participant:
I was not thinking about college before, not at all. I actually — the furthest thing from my mind was him and college. I guess I was thinking like, you know, at his age, Christmas gifts, you know birthday toys, and things like that. But college, not so much.
Desiree Coleman, Community Relations consultant, Wells Fargo Advisors:
The program is called Focus on College because we want families to start saving and planning for college now, and one of the important things was to make savings attainable. So we asked families to save $10 per month over the course of eight months, and the goal was really to show families how your money can grow. So if you start early, your money can grow, and then we match those dollars, all with the goal of getting kids to college.
It’s simple, you know. Just save a little here, save a little there, and as the years go on we’ve created a path for these kids to actually have a chance out here.
Jesse is the epitome of who we wanted to reach. Somebody who has high aspirations for their child. Somebody who believes that their child can and will succeed. And somebody who just needs information and a path to get there. So, what the Family Finance Nights did was show families how to save for college. We not only talked about the cost of college, but what savings looked like. And again, what we know from research is that it’s not about the amount in a child’s savings account, but the mere presence raises the expectation that children will go to college. So now Jesse’s son has a college savings account. Therefore, in Jesse’s mind, in Jesse Jr.’s mind, they are going to college. And so, it’s just really exciting to see how those pieces have come together.
Dr. Jason Purnell, assistant professor, Brown School of Washington University:
Having money saved for college is about more than just the dollars that are in the account. It’s about actually instilling a sense of hope. We know that children who have savings in their name are three to four times more likely to attend college and to graduate from college. But we also know that people who have more education live longer lives and have better quality of health than people who have less education.
I’m just overwhelmed with joy about the possibilities of what we can do for these kids this early on. You know, we have time to actually make a difference.
Veterans overcome mental, physical, and emotional barriers for their kids
Kyle Miller is determined to live a life filled with purpose, despite his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder. It was on his descent from Wyoming’s Gannet Peak that he found the clarity he needed to move forward.
“Coming down from Gannet Peak, I knew that my kids had to be at the forefront of everything I do,” said Miller, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq and now lives in Billings, Montana. “I’ve made a lot of changes in my life to be a better father and to be more present.”
David Inbody, U.S. Army veteran:
I had medically retired from the Army, and I was living as a stay-at-home dad taking care of my three kids. That’s a big transition, and depression’s a very common thing with big transitions. And on top of that, some friends of mine had deployed, one of whom was killed, and a soldier from my unit had committed suicide. And I was in a pretty dark place and not real interested in getting up off the couch.
When I went into Warriors to Summits, I was hoping to find some of that drive to push myself, to set a goal for myself. We were post-holing through deep snow, and moving with my prosthetic in that was really tough.
(Natural sound: “Both calves are starting to cramp up and this left leg is smoked because I’m compensating so much.” “Yeah, yeah.”)
And I said, ‘Hey this is fine, I came up here to get my butt kicked and that’s what’s happening.’ And I did it and I was smiling.
Through Warriors to Summits, David and other veterans with disabilities spent the summer of 2014 preparing to climb Mt. Whitney. But the main goal wasn’t reaching the summit — it was overcoming the barriers they faced in adjusting to civilian life.
Tiffany Inbody, David’s wife:
As a spouse, you see them have the days where they just can’t do it, and they just can’t get out of bed. There are those days, but knowing that they are challenged and they have a renewed purpose, and have that opportunity to be outside, it really brought that spark that was missing.
David Inbody: One of the big changes that I think Whitney brought to my life was being able to personally motivate and get that drive going again, that “want” to get out and go push myself.
I think that’s been a catalyst. And so, something that may have taken a lot longer — to get to that place of peace and finding a vision — I think happened a lot faster, and has helped shape his outlook on things.
I definitely feel more plugged in with the kids. Just embracing their general joy of life, especially with my 4-year-old, where the idea of Daddy picking him up and stopping for ice cream on the way home is the kind of thing that just, you know, makes his week.
David stays in touch with the other vets from his Whitney climb, known as his rope team. And last year, he and Tiffany joined some of them to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
My rope team from Mt. Whitney has been a real motivator for me, and being able to see how they have gone forward with the motivation feels really good.
And he continues to challenge himself this year with the 2016 Warriors to Summits team as an expedition leader.
We recognize that the past is something that’s affected us, but it’s not going to take over. And then, we focus on being present in the adventure and the journey, and embracing the next step, the water, the sound of the wind in the trees. And that’s hard, that’s really hard, especially when you’ve got a lot of demons running around in your head. It sounds kind of silly to talk about that kind of cliché stuff. But it really is very calming, and it’s really very healing. At the end, everybody makes their own pledge on what they want to do going forward. I did it, and am looking forward to helping other veterans along the way.
‘Father of baseball’ creates national pastime for American families
The crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd return each April as baseball teams everywhere open their new season.
While the national pastime has a complex — and sometimes murky — history, it is generally agreed that Alexander Joy Cartwright Jr., once a Wells Fargo team member, helped create the game that generations of fans have enjoyed. Abner Doubleday was once promoted as the inventor of the game, but this myth was debunked by the Mills Commission in the early 1900s. Cartwright is often labeled the “father of baseball.”
Born in New York City in 1820, Cartwright worked at the age of 16 for a Wall Street brokerage firm, and then as a clerk at Union Bank of New York.
‘I hustle hard’: Restaurateur credits her father for her work ethic
Sadaf Salout, owner, Sadaf restaurant:
Owning a restaurant is like running a theater.
The actors in the kitchen are getting prepared for it. The staff is setting the tables. You’re watching this whole vision happen. I mean, I get chills just thinking about it.
The customers are the audience. Now, our food is what comes in front of them and just watching people enjoying my father’s recipes is just so heartwarming.
Sadaf Salout’s mother and father left Iran in 1984 and settled in Los Angeles.
When they came here my mom found out that she was pregnant with twins. So, my dad opened one of the first Persian restaurants in Orange County.
I was about 25 and I said, “Dad, let’s do one together.” His reaction was, “It’s not the business for you. It’s not the business for your worst enemy.” But I had a passion for food and the service industry and I said, “Dad, I’m going to do it. Are you in with me, or out? I’m going to do it anyway.” So, he said, “OK. I support you 100 percent. If you’re going to do it, let’s do it.”
Sadaf opened her restaurant in 2011, with help from her father and her uncle.
I had this vision to modernize Persian cuisine. My uncle was a little hesitant and that’s where Wells Fargo came into this.
Michael Bulda, Wells Fargo Business Banking:
Hey, It’s so great to see you.
So, I helped Sadaf buy out her uncle, and it helped give her more control to run the business the way she wanted to.
In the restaurant business when you’re the owner, you feel alone. You feel you need someone to help you out, especially on the financial side of it, or the banking side. Just little reminders. Michael was always there, shooting me an e-mail, giving me a call. “Hey Sadaf, is your account OK? Is there something I can do? How is payroll coming along?” He was always there, really to just give me that. (deep sigh)
My dad is my quality control in the kitchen. He will come in, say, “Hi,” to everyone, go into the kitchen and ask the chef to try this item, that item, that item, that item. He’ll taste it and he’ll go, “This one needs a little more salt. This one needs to cook a little longer. This rice needs to be a little fluffier,” and I’m like, “How do you know this?”
While Sadaf believes that modernizing the menu and the décor have increased business, she’s not completely abandoning her Persian roots.
We still have the traditional items on the menu. The Persian hospitality will stay throughout, but I’m a new generation taking old tradition and following it through.
Here’s a top chef and entrepreneur who’s a voracious learner, too.
Dad’s small-town newspaper becomes a leader in packaging
When W. Horace Carter began publishing The Tabor City Tribune in 1946, he was hoping to create a platform to keep the community connected through a weekly newspaper. A few years later, unfortunately, he found that his small, North Carolina community was increasingly subjected to the outlandish and violent acts of the Ku Klux Klan.
The 29-year-old editor used the greatest tools he had to combat the Klan’s actions against local citizens: his words and his newspaper. The paper won the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service in 1953.
This facility is a high-tech lab where e-commerce business can test and learn better ways to package their products for shipping.
Wes Carter, president, Atlantic Packaging:
In the U.S. today, in the food, beverage, and beauty world, over $7.2 billion is lost in damaged shipments every year, and a lot of that is just because things are improperly packaged.
Customers will send us products and say, “Hey, we’re having a lot of damage with this unit load of product.” And we’ll put it on our testing equipment and say we understand now why that is happening. And then we can create customized packaging solutions specifically for that problem.
The Packaging Solution Center is the newest division of Atlantic Corporation, a family-owned company that started as a small-town newspaper in 1946, and because of its on-site printing press, quickly became a resource for other businesses in the region.
Rusty Carter, CEO, Atlantic Corp.:
That printing capability ultimately expanded into what we now call our printing and graphics business. The textile industry needed lots of packaging products. Some of those products could be fabricated on printing equipment without heat. And so that led to what we now call our industrial converting business. And we had a small office supply company, and that supply business led to what we now call Atlantic Distribution
We could not have begun to move from that small company to the company we are today without the strong support of Wells Fargo.
John Ward, Wells Fargo Wholesale Banking:
We’ve been fortunate to grow the relationship significantly over the years as the company has expanded into new facilities, new geographies across the U.S., and taken on new product lines.
Now, with the solution center, the company is continuing to grow by providing high performance packaging innovations to e-commerce and other businesses.
We wanted this facility to be the face of our company moving forward. We felt like we needed one central point to really showcase how we are different and that we truly are invested in the science of packaging.
John Anderson, Wells Fargo Wholesale Banking:
This is a very consultative solution center where they can bring ideas to clients and prospects. They’re in the business of really helping their clients think ahead of the curve and being proactive.
All of the sudden, we’re a pretty big player in e-comm now. I mean, we’ve got 10 or 12 majors, names that you guys would know very well, and a lot of that is because of this facility.
We all know that the economy continues to grow in the e-commerce business and they’ve really evolved as a leader in that with their solutions and their equipment that they can provide to their customers. So this just really continues to fit in the growth strategy of the company.
We’ve had a long and fantastic relationship with Wells Fargo. I’ve always felt like those guys understand our business, understand how we’re different in our industry and really support that.