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May 28, 2012
Pasco County native and University of Florida graduate Marcus Meyer launched Gator Cleaning Solutions nine years ago and hasn’t looked back. His growing company, which offers commercial cleaning strategies to business across the bay area, employs nearly 100. Yet, he’s still most proud of his wife and best friend Erin and their two children ages 9 and 6.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a dad?
There are so many aspects of being a parent that are truly rewarding so it is difficult to name just one. I love the moments when they don’t realize you are listening and they are talking with their friends or a sibling and they really get what it is to do the right thing. For example, my son was chatting with his friend Jacob in the back seat on the way home from school last week and he was explaining why he let a younger classmate score a goal on him at recess. His explanation was that he had witnessed this kid being picked on earlier that morning and wanted him to have a better day! It’s those small moments when you know somewhere, somehow they are listening to the lessons we try to teach each day. Those moments are priceless!
What is your favorite thing to do with your kids?
We are an outdoors kind of family and we tend to be on the go almost all the time! Our favorite family activity is to take our boat to one of the barrier islands right off shore on the gulf. No cell phones or technology, just us and some friends hanging out enjoying beautiful weather and good company!
What is the most challenging part of fatherhood?
The most challenging part of fatherhood is finding that balance. I’m sure most parents are challenged with the task of working hard to provide for the family but also finding enough time to enjoy the family. My wife and I both work very hard but we are also careful to put work away and enjoy time with each other. That is why I like to coach. feel like the time spent coaching my son’s teams helps me stay connected, and it’s not only a commitment to him but to all the boys and therefore something that cannot be rescheduled or pushed off until tomorrow!
What role model in your life influenced the kind of father you are?
My father worked very hard while I was growing up and it allowed for my mother to stay home and raise me and my sister. Now that I am a father I can appreciate how difficult it was to work so hard and also be at every soccer game or baseball game. It showed me that I was a priority and that although working hard was important and necessary, family always comes first.
As a father, how do you view your responsibilities?
The title of dad or father is a huge responsibility but one I welcome. In our house we share most of the responsibilities and, depending on the day, I could be a disciplinarian or the one packing lunch. My wife and I partner on almost everything and our kids know we are a team. That doesn’t mean they don’t try and get one over on us though. Like any household communication is the key, and we are always trying to improve on that skill.
What is something people don’t know about you?
When I retire, I plan to sail around the world with my co-captain Erin. I take this dream so seriously that I have much of my route mapped out and enjoy spending time drawing out the plans. I learned long ago that if you document your dreams they’re more likely to come true.
What is your biggest fear?
Watching the news is enough to give any parent nightmares and of course the fear of your kids getting ill. These are the things that probably weigh on most parents minds. We try to focus on the positive and be thankful for the things that are important.
Where is your favorite place to go in Tampa?
Tampa is such a great community and has so much to offer families. We love Busch Gardens, MOSI, Florida Aquarium as well as the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. There is no shortage on family activities in the area. In fact, Erin visits Tampa Bay Parenting’s website to find events pretty regularly.