It is almost Father’s Day. It’s a joyous and sad day for me. I started A. Bright Idea in 1996, a few years before my father died from a brain tumor. I often wonder what he would think of the life and business I’ve created? Although he never had the opportunity to tell me, I trust he would delight in my business acumen, strong work ethic and my pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality.
A. Bright Idea was born in many ways because of my father, Jerome Zarachowicz. He was a tool and dye maker and also worked in the furnace room at Armco Steel. It was a physical job in demanding conditions that left him exhausted at the end of a single shift, and empty at the end of a double. He engrained in me that with direction, hard work and a positive attitude, anything is possible. Instead of reveling in an accomplishment he’d always set the bar higher. (Um, that might also be the reason I’ve got issues with perfectionism…)
One year, my father decided to run for a position with the Union and their ticket was called, “New Direction.” I was probably 12 at the time and happily helped design a series of posterboards with red, white and blue markers that he displayed at the plant and in the back windows of his rusty, blue, Chevy Suburban. He was energized and talked about the campaign at the dinner table, a time usually reserved for silence after a hard day at work. My father and I strategized about how they could increase turnout at the elections and established a shuttle service to the union hall. I loved the connection that election created between my father and me. One day while making a poster, he suggested that I get involved in public relations. It was likely just a passing comment because he thought I had a knack at drumming up publicity; however, it had a lasting effect.
That decision path continues to impact my family. I’m delighted that A. Bright Idea provides such a wonderful opportunity for my own family. My husband joined the agency almost five years ago, right around Father’s Day. Working in sports marketing prior to that took him away from home much of the day and phone calls, emails, and client dinners and events filled up the rest of his evening. Work still dominates much of our lives. Ask our children and they will tell you that we’re always talking about A. Bright Idea. The dinner conversations about client campaigns are reminiscent of the dinner conversation I had with my father about the election. He’s still with me.
Happy Father’s Day, to my husband, T.J., my father-in-law, Cal, and the staff and significant others of Team ABI.