Faces of Goering Center is a social media and web series spotlighting the family and private businesses of the Goering Center. Members share the behind-the-scenes successes, challenges, history and personality behind their business.
(1/2) “Our company branding was developed from a painting entitled ‘Veo Veo,’ (which means ‘I see, I see’) and was given to us by one of our Spanish ophthalmologist colleagues. It visually represents our mission and vision - to help our clients see their way through the complex FDA regulatory process.”
(2/2) "The greatest reward of being a mentor is watching your mentees grow and develop. It's my same philosophy in raising my kids - I enjoy every stage that they go through."
(1/3) “I am fortunate to work with my mom and my dad. They have taught me how to be a healthy business leader while being a healthy husband and parent."
(2/3) “Having an identity outside of your job is important. And if you set that higher purpose, then everything else can cascade down.”
(3/3) “For us, a successful generational transition is all about communications, transparency and trust.”
-Mike Sipple, Jr.
(1/2) "The real excitement is the people - how they’re working well together and how they're making it all happen.”
-Michael (pictured left, with Phil)
(2/2) "It feels like at times you're playing Nintendo with yourself, and you’re never going to get to that next level. It can get very daunting and disappointing, and it’s a very difficult business to be in. You just have to keep fighting."
(1/4) “It’s actually pretty awesome, I like it a lot. One – because I know that if I ever need to get advice on anything, I can walk down the hall or across the parking lot and my dad’s usually here. Or my sister and my brother are here. My uncle is up in Columbus.”
(2/4) “He’s more the front-facing account side, I’m more of the IT/finance backside. We ‘ying and yang’ pretty well.”
-David (left) with brother, Steve
(3/4) “It helps me care a lot more about what we do, because I know deep down - that’s my last name, that’s our company. I feel more a part of it.”
(4/4) "I really like the people that we work with. The age-old saying that my dad gives is ‘look down at the parking lot and think of the people who have jobs and support their families because of our family company.’ "
(1/4) "This was my father’s desk, my grandfather’s desk and possibly my great grandfather’s. We believe it was probably an armoire that they just converted into a desk. We’ve kept it ever since.”
(2/4) "There were so many floor-sanding businesses in northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. So many Germans were doing this. The first week dad handed him a $100 bill, and grandpa fell backwards and couldn’t believe it - they made a $100 in a week. That was good for back in the ‘40s."
(3/4) "If you come back for Halloween, it’s hilarious here. There's old equipment that we put in the store windows, like old reapers from our dairy farm, and things light up too. There's some weird stuff - we like Halloween here a lot."
(4/4) “And then you can see we slowly transitioned as you go through the years here from the dairy into the floor sanding business, which is what you see up here. And yes, our name is spelt wrong! But back then if you spelt your name wrong, they couldn’t send it back because it would cost so much more money to get it printed. So we just kept it (Steffan’s).” (later Steffen’s)
(1/4) "I’ve been in about every department of the business. Even before that in summers…we got stuck with the worst jobs ever. I mean we had to clean up dirty, greasy, nasty stuff – and we realized someone had to do it. So, that was a good start for us."
(2/4) "My daughter - she has a business within Hydrotech, and she sells over 3,000 products online for the autism community and for kids that have developmental needs."
(3/4) “The best part for me is working with my father. I think that the people in the company feel better that the whole family is working here, because they know our values and they feel as another member of the family."
(4/4) "We like to hear laughter."
-Rex (left) with Peter Jones, Founder of Hydrotech
(1/3) “I grew up with an appreciation for the art - the design of rugs and the craft it takes. Especially in hand-woven pieces, and the design aspect to put everything together in a room.”
(2/3) “I’m not afraid of letting people make mistakes. Because the only way you’re going to learn is by making mistakes. Just don’t make too many of them.”
(3/3) “’Oh, you got a lot of money if you bought it from the Rug Gallery.’ - To me I almost laugh when I hear that, because I know how we started.”
(1/3) "I was an adrenaline junkie, but my body won’t do it anymore. Nothing really feels better than building a family. It’s intensely rewarding."
(2/3) "Sondra was a kid that was 13 when we got her. She was a tough kid, went through a lot of trauma. Maybe 15 years later, she’s now a foster parent herself. It kind of brings the whole thing full circle. […] I could tell you 50 stories of kids, I just looked over and she’s on my desk. And today’s her birthday!"
(3/3) "Kids are amazingly resilient, and that’s why I like working with them. They can have crazy, crazy experiences and experience a lot of trauma, and yet turn out to be productive members of society."
(1/3) “So the very beginning is – when I was two years old, my dad taught himself from a book how to repair wrecked cars in our backyard.”
(2/3) “One of the biggest family values my dad passed down into the business is generosity. I’ve seen him consistently be generous with anything that he’s ever received. ”
(3/3) “I was working as a pastor in this community for almost 15 years, and then I decided it was time. I was being drawn back into the family business.”
(1/3) “My favorite smell is that corporate-office-cleaner smell because I spent so much time in my mom’s office when I was little. So really I’ve kinda been here my whole life!”
(2/3) “I call us the dirty hippies of the financial world, because we look at things from a very holistic approach. It’s not ‘what’s your number,’ it’s ‘what do you want your life to look like,’ and ‘what makes you feel good?’”
(3/3) To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Mackey McNeill Day, we took her headshot and put it on this fabulous, gorgeous, red gown body, to create “stand-up” Mackey. Then we took her all over the city, to clients’ businesses and homes and took pictures of her. So instead of celebrating with Mackey we had stand-up Mackey. So then she’s in New Zealand, and she opens up Facebook, and there’s stand-up Mackey everywhere!"