Family Matters | Larry Zavadil & Tammy Stottler

This month’s blog features a hidden gem in the American family. ASB Founder & CEO Larry Zavadil is the oldest brother of ASB sales associate Tammy Stottler. Continue reading to learn more about this brother/sister duo.

What is the birth order?

Larry: I’m the oldest, then our brother Bruce, then our sister Carol and then Tammy.

What’s your favorite memory from your childhood?

Larry: I always jokingly say that when Diane and I got back here after we had kids, Tammy was more of a babysitter than sister. We didn’t really get to spend time together when she was younger because of the age gap and we finally had that family or extended family aspect that we always wanted. She was only a year and half when I went to college.

Tammy: We hosted a German exchange student when I was in middle school and she is a life long friend – even more like a sister. We still speak to her regularly and even visit each other. It’s been 43 years since we met her!

What was your first job and how old were you?

Larry: I worked for the county before I graduated from high school.

Tammy: Babysitting for sure! I was watching my niece Jessica, Larry’s oldest, at 10 years old as well as neighbors and friends’ kids.

Larry: I was supposed to be helping on the farm, but I definitely didn’t.

Tammy: Dad always said, “He only has sports on his mind and will never amount to anything”. Unfortunately he passed away when I was 12 and Larry was 29. Our mom always wished he could have seen who Larry turned out to be!

Where did you go to school?

Larry: University of Minnesota.

Tammy: St. Cloud State University.

Have you worked together before?

Larry: If you don’t count when she babysat for me, no we haven’t. We wish we got to work together more.

When did Tammy join American?

Tammy: I did an internship at American in the home office in 1988. I didn’t really understand what American was all about until that internship and got to go on the road with Rose Shorma. After I graduated in the fall of ’88, I started in sales the following January.

What’s a fun fact about the two of you?

Tammy: There’s 17 years between Larry and I. He actually handed me my diploma when I graduated high school because he was on the school board!

Why do you recommend working with family?

Tammy: They actually understand what you do! You can talk to others about this and they are like a deer in headlights and can’t relate. But if you want to vent and talk to someone about work, you can talk to someone who gets it.

Larry: I agree. You do this day in and day out and sometimes go on autopilot so having to explain it to someone is exhausting. It’s just nice to jump right into it.

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