Anyone who’s familiar with our company’s structure knows that our founder and CEO, Larry Zavadil, values family above all else. His son, Justin is now the President of American, and Larry has always considered the sales reps and employees as part of the “American Family” – a support system of people who care deeply about each other and what they do. This attitude has created a space where actual family businesses can thrive.
When Douglas and Sandra Shuff joined American Solutions for Business 21 years ago, they had no idea it would become the thriving family business it is today. Now, their daughter Kristina has joined their sales team and strives to learn as much as she can from her parents while applying her own unique skill set to the business. Here’s what she has to say about this partnership:
What is your favorite part about working with your parents?
I’ve seen the highs and lows of the business and I know that it is the best career I can have because of that. Honestly going on sales calls with my dad is pretty awesome. Not only is it fun, but it’s pretty cool to see how respected he is with is clients. As a child you don’t normally get to see your parents in their professional element, but now that we work together it’s been an honor to experience that. My mom has been my cheerleader and advocate over the past year. I know being a second generation American has given be a huge advantage in this business.
What have you learned from working with each other?
I’ve learned how good my parents are at what they do. They each have roles working together that make the overall business successful. I know they have learned a lot from me as well when it comes to social media, networking, and just changing things up. Bringing a fresh prospective to things and learning from their years of experience has been a good mix for all of us.
What was it like growing up with your parent(s) in this industry?
My parents work a lot and always have – they probably work too much, but with that said they always found time to be at things. My parents attended close to 95% of my volleyball games, field trips, school events (as a teen sometimes when I didn’t want them there). My dad might have been on his cell phone while at my volleyball game, but he was there. My parents have always had a home office that provided all of kids access to our parents whenever we needed them. Not too many kids have that. I got to work for them filing a lot of amber colored invoices to earn a little bit of money too. The culture of American encourages the importance of family. I always loved getting my birthday card from Larry growing up and now my kids are getting them too. (That’s pretty cool). The real reason I came on with American is to have balance in life that no other career can provide. I’m passionate about the work I do because it allows me to work full-time and be a mom and wife. Before American, I tried to squeeze my life around my work. It’s been the best thing for my family and my career. I don’t think I would have done a career like this if I had not grown up with it. Being on a 100% commission income can be a little nerve wracking, but with the support of my family and American, I’m confident that I can succeed in this business.