Here is my Dad, Ted Golding, on his new bike – figuratively and literally riding off into the sunset. A successful career in the rear-view mirror that did not always come easy.

My Dad had kids at a young age. He was 19 when my sister was born and started his career working night shift at CN Rail in Montreal. It was a tough job, working 12 hour shifts and getting little to no sleep, but somehow he did it for ten years while raising four kids and playing competitive sports on the weekend.

My Dad has always been a sports fanatic and that’s how he caught his big break, a way out of working nights. One of the guys on his softball team helped him get a job selling food products, which he parlayed into a sales and marketing gig in high-tech. Since then, he’s sold semi-conductors, paint, software and now lighting products, finding success wherever he went by building relationships and trust with his customers.

He is the reason I ended up in business and why Gold Leaf Technologies is where it is today.

In my last year of high school, I thought I wanted to be an engineer, so I took all the tough engineering pre-requisites and French immersion, while juggling sports and a part-time job managing the local pizza joint.

Towards the end of the year, I had a change of heart and decided that business was more my speed. The only problem was that I had only applied to one school for business, and I had been rejected because my grade point average was 0.03% lower than that minimum requirement for entry.

When I broke the news to my Dad, he took matters into his own hands and unbeknownst to me, sent the Dean of Business a reconsideration letter, explaining that if I was admitted, he knew I would try my hardest.

Little did I know that this action would completely change the course of my life.

Two weeks later, I received a letter in the mail explaining that they had reconsidered my application and I was in!

Off I went to Bishop’s University, and like my Dad promised, graduated four years later with my degree. Those years at Bishop’s were some of the best years of my life and where I met my wife, Johanna. Fresh out of school, I followed in my Dad’s footsteps and went into sales. Finding success in sales over the years gave me the confidence to venture off on my own and start Gold Leaf Technologies.

Shortly after starting the business, I asked my Dad if he would be my partner and help build the business. Over the last three years, that is exactly what we have done. Father and son working side-by-side, talking every day, strategizing, going to trade shows and visiting suppliers and customers. I’ll never forget these years that we’ve spent together and the good times we’ve had.

Dad, I will always admire and respect the way that you do business, but most of all the way that you treat people.

Wishing you all the best in retirement… hit em’ long and straight!