I have a son, Kyle, who just started his second year at Oregon State University. Like many kids his age, he was unsure where his future was heading. Initially, he studied business, but his heart just wasn’t in it. He spent the summer thinking of his future and looking for a sign, a spark of interest, anything that might guide him toward his passion.

This summer, on a particularly beautiful day, we walked to Tumalo Falls, a day hike at the foot of the Cascade Mountains, just outside of Bend Oregon. While walking through the forest, the proverbial light bulb flickered inside his head; “Dad, I know what I want to do” he said. “I want to work outside and help preserve our natural resources”.  I was surprised, but excited at the same time. I could hear the passion in his voice. He knew what he wanted to do in life. This fall he began working toward a degree in forestry, with an emphasis in natural resource management.

My son’s soul searching made me think about our business; why do we do what we do?

It’s a good question, one I’ve thought about a lot since our hike. We love to produce great work. We love to provide a service to our community. We love to employ great people.

All of these made sense, but there still seemed to be a missing reason I hadn’t thought of.

This week, one of our employees sent me an email from a customer. In the email, the customer was thanking us for a job well done. “Our trust has been built on your excellent service, making deadlines and exceeding our quality expectations”. I thought “That’s it, that’s why we do what we do”. We are in business to create success for our customers.

If our hard work and effort helps our customers succeed, we have won the day.

That is where our passion comes from, helping others.

My son came home for a visit this weekend. I told him that I too had found my passion. He looked at me, puzzled and confused. I said “it’s a long story Kyle, but I want to thank you for making me realize why I do what I do”. He smiled and said “Glad I could help Dad”.  Boy how quickly the roles change in life. Thanks again Kyle!