Zoodles Blog Learn and Play Every Day

June 20, 2010

Father’s Day with Zoodles CEO, Mark Williamson

Filed under: Family Activities — Erin @ 11:20 am

dadFor those of us here at Zoodles, Father’s Day is more than just an event to squeeze in amidst schools closing for summer, signing kids up for camps, and attending graduation party after graduation party.  Of course we all have our own Father’s to buy ties for (they’re in the mail folks, they are in the mail!) but if it were not for one particular father, this company would not exist today. And  because of that, we here at Zoodles have found a new level of appreciation for Father’s Day.

Mark Williamson is our Founder and CEO. Yes, he is the guy who signs our paychecks. But Mark is also an exceptional father to 2 beautiful little girls. And were it not for them, catapulting him into the role of father and fatherhood, I expect that his life may have taken a very different course, altogether. Because if Mark had never become a father, if he had never had the pleasure of experiencing that overwhelming love and passion for his children, he may never have been inspired to create this fabulous tool we all call Zoodles.

feetMark and his wife Tara welcomed their first bundle of joy into the family in July of 2004. Little did either of them know, but with the birth of their daughter Abigail, the wheels for what would eventually give rise to Zoodles, had been set into motion. Soon after Abbie arrived they had their second child, Samantha, and Mark and Tara settled right into parenthood. Life was hectic but full of a thousand little miracles that come from loving and raising 2 small children. The girls were growing and changing so quickly that time seemed to literally fly by. Only Mark’s career seemed to be moving faster. One business Mark sold to Amazon, another he worked for was acquired by Research in Motion, and a 3rd business, MyTinyHands, founded by wife Tara, is still retained by The Williamson’s family.

mark-abbieFast-forward to the year that Abigail turned 4. Daddy was home watching the girls so mom could get some much needed R&R. The day started out just like most other days, his dax frustrated Abbie gave her father an idea which would ultimately lead him to build and design Zoodles. If you are not aware of our Zoodles Founding Story, it is a great read. It is the story of how WE came to be. A story which stars a father and his daughter. So Father’s Day is a very special day to us here at Zoodles. We not only believe in this product, but we love this company and we are so proud to be working for a man with such a love and passion for children, that he built a business upon it.

Integrity is something most of us are looking for in another person. Integrity in a business, well that is even harder to find.  But thanks to Mark and to Zoodles, we have been lucky enough to find both.  This Father’s Day we wanted to take the opportunity to share a little bit more about Mark and what it means to him to be a father. We hope you enjoy his answers as much as we did!

What do you enjoy most about being a Dad? Least? There really is so much to love about being a Dad that it is hard for me to choose just one thing.  If I had to choose just one thing it would be helping my children learn new things.  It is really rewarding to see them develop new skills since it brings them such joy and pride.  My least favorite thing is when I find myself in a position where I can’t help Abbie or Samantha… for example when they get hurt or are sick I wish I had a super power to make them feel better.

In what ways are you and your dad alike? My Dad and I share a lot of qualities, like our love of sports, business, and technology.  We are certainly more similar than different, and for that I am grateful.

Once you learned you were having a child, what did you worry about? I didn’t worry too much until I found out I was having a daughter.  Being a guy I had a fear that I wouldn’t really figure out how to play and bond with her.  That fear vanished the first time I held her as I just knew we would get along famously.

What is the secret to raising good kids? If I had the answer to that Zoodles would be in a different business :-).  If anyone has this answer please email or call me as I need to know!

Do you think today’s fathers have it harder, easier or just different? I think society’s view around the role of a father has changed over the last few decades, so I would have to say it is just different.  Maybe my Dad & I should exchange some notes this father’s day!

What is something fun that just you and your daughters do together? This year Abbie and I went on a Dad / Daughter ski weekend and we had a BLAST!  I can’t wait for Samantha to join us when she gets a little older.  Until then, me and the girls do gymnastics every Saturday together followed by getting an ice cream cone!

What is something cool that your daughters have taught you? Patience.  Raising kids requires an immense amount of patience.  I certainly could use more of it, but they have really taught me what patience really is.  On a more fun note, I think my kids have taught me to dance!  I have never liked to dance, but when my girls ask for me to dance with them I can’t say no… they are so much fun to dance with!

If you could give your (little) girls anything in the world what would it be? The ability to live a happy and fulfilling life.  If they are happy in their life I will feel like I succeeded as a father.

What do you want to make sure your children always remember about their childhood? I hope that they remember how much fun it is to be a child… and that they strive to find a life that is equally fun to live.

What do you want them to learn from you? Given Tara’s business and my profession I certainly want my daughters to have an entrepreneurial spirit.  They should know that they can achieve anything in life if they work hard.

What is the sweetest thing either of them has ever said to you? “I love you Daddy”… how can a Dad’s heart not melt when your daughter says that?

What makes you get up in the morning? I really love my life so getting up in the morning is easy.  I really love my kids, my wife, and my job… what else can a guy ask for?

They say behind every good man there is a good woman. Well in this case, we’d have to say that there are three:  Tara, Abbie, and Samantha –  thanks to all of you!

Happy Fathers Day Everyone!

Love,

The Staff at Zoodles

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