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Super Dad: Sam Ho

Realtor Samuel Ho’s Chinese family friends often called him an “ABC” growing up: an American Born Chinese. A first generation American, Ho was born and raised in Tampa, and his parents exemplified both academic success and the entrepreneurial spirit of their new country. His father was a civil and structural engineer and his mother, a medical technician, but they went into business for themselves as real estate investors. “That brings me here to today where I carry on doing the business that they brought me up to know,” says Ho, the proud husband to Becky, his beautiful, loving wife, and father of two “amazing young boys,” Nathan, 7, and Andrew, 5.

Sam and his sons at Berkeley Preparatory School where Sam is an alumni. Photo by Amy Pezzicara, Pezz Photo

What is the most rewarding part of being a dad?
Their smiling faces and inquisitive disposition are the most rewarding part of being a father. I love being a part of their lives and watching them learn and grow.

What is the most challenging part of fatherhood?
The most challenging part of fatherhood is to lift my child’s spirit when they feel they have let me and themselves down. Teaching them to always strive to be better and trying their best in everything in life is all I ever ask of them. I also want to teach them that learning from failure is a part of life. Sports is an amazing tool to teach kids important qualities as it relates to life.

What role model in your life influenced the kind of father you are?
My father was always a positive man and always found ways to endure in the toughest parts of life. He is my rock and someone I will always look to for strength. He always taught me to treat others with respect and equality. He was a smart, hard-working immigrant who battled many hardships, whether it be work, money, people or even his own health. He always endured and kept a positive, strong attitude.

As a father, how do you view your responsibilities?
My responsibilities as a father of two boys is to set an example for them about the importance of working hard, but always making time for themselves in their lives. I am their father, their best friend, their teacher, and hopefully as they grow up, someone they can turn to when confronted with life issues. Teaching them to be good boys and to grow up to be good men is my main focus and responsibility.

What advice would you give other fathers?
I am not usually one to tell others what to do or how to be in life. However, I would say to always follow your heart. My love for my family guides me, gives me strength, and provides purpose in life. Without them, I would be lost; they are the driving force for me.

How do you deal with this and make time for them?
Family is always at the top of my priority. My work is important only to the point of providing the means for my family. Balancing work and family is always difficult, but I always remind myself that in a few years my children will be grown up and lead independent lives and that these years with them should be cherished. These memories that I am making with them are worth more than money. Having said that, my father taught me, when I was a young man, to always plan and prepare for the future financially. Having followed his advice, it makes balancing my life and family much more attainable.

What is something people don’t know about you?
Something that people may not know about me is that I am sort of an introvert. I am somewhat shy, even though you may not believe it when you meet me. I am out of my element when I am in a crowded environment. I fear that I may say the wrong thing and inadvertently upset someone.

What makes me happy?
My wife, Becky, is my anchor. She helps me break out of my shell. She pushes me and my kids to do things out of our comfort zone. Without her, I would live a much lonelier and non-purposeful life. Making my wife happy makes me happy. Happy wife=happy life!

Where is your favorite place to go in Tampa?
Becky and I love to try new restaurants around town. It is one of our favorite things to do. Even our kids love to do that with us and, yes, we make them eat everything! Don’t ask me where my favorite Chinese restaurant is in Tampa. I don’t have one! I’m pretty picky when it comes to Chinese food. I would probably just say “my mom’s house.”

Photo by Amy Pezzicara, Pezz Photo
Photo by Amy Pezzicara, Pezz Photo

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