Pub. 1 2020 Issue 3

32 Kentucky Trucker Kentucky Trucking Association a business standpoint, Dad always paid his debts. As a young kid, that stuck with me,” Jason said. Those were difficult years financially. Pat relied on Elaine’s income to stay afloat and keep food on the table, but he hasn’t borrowed to buy equipment since then. How Jason Got Involved Jason did not initially plan to join the family busi- ness. When he graduated from high school in 2000, he thought it was a good idea to get a degree and then decide what to do next. Jason had aspirations of being a lawyer. What he didn’t like was the thought of addi- tional years of school. Shortly before Jason finished school, Pat began to have heart trouble. Jason offered to leave school immediately to help, but his dad insisted that he finish his university education. Jason also began to realize that the family business made sense for him. At the time, he was dating his high school sweetheart, Amanda, who he later married. Join- ing the family business was a logical step. “Home means something to me. Being able to work where I grew up means something to me. I grew up watching Dad work hard. He would never tell a customer, “No.” I was changing tires and oil in trucks at 12.” He committed to being part of the family business on a long-term basis. When Jason joined the business, Pat insisted that Jason start by driving because he wanted Jason to under- stand the company better. Jason learned that trucking involves working with many different personalities, including customers who expect the world and drivers who need to be kept happy. After gaining the initial experience he needed, Jason moved to the office and gradually took on more business responsibilities. Working with his dad and his sister made the tran- sition easier for Jason. He said, “When I first came back, working next to Mary Anne, I learned that the amount of paperwork, even for a small business, is astronomical. Being able to learn from her and dad softened the process.” It hasn’t always been easy. Even though Jason was Pat’s son, he was still coming in as the new guy. There was definitely a transition period. Sometimes they still have difficult conversations, disagreements and arguments as they try to make the business better. But despite dis- agreements, all three have a good family relationship. “Above everything else, we are family,” Jason said. Part continued from page 31 MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION A VIRTUAL EVENT MEMBER LED — ATA DRIVEN Register Now October 19-23 & 26-28 Join Other Trucking Leaders • Learn the latest in trucking • Engage in Policy Discussions • Discover new products and services