The Value of Fathers

Published on June 4, 2019 in PECO Culture and Leadership & Development
R. Mark Addy
R. Mark Addy
President and COO, Phillips Edison Grocery Center REIT III; Executive Vice President, Phillips Edison & Company

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As we approach Father’s Day, I’d like to share the journey of my involvement with an incredible organization, The Talbert House Fatherhood Project.
 
About 10 years ago, a good friend of mine, John Silverman, took me out to lunch and asked me to consider volunteering on a committee for a charitable organization that helps men become better fathers.
 
As a commercial real estate veteran, my world is all about value – the value of a property, the value of our returns. As I weighed my decision to participate at the time, I reflected on the value of fathers. I was blessed to work alongside my grandfather and father on our family farm, learning from them every day. They showed me hard work, honesty, helping others and self-improvement. I can’t put a price on these values and the examples they set for what it means to be a father. Their leadership and involvement in my life continues to pay the ultimate return. It’s provided me with the framework to be the best father possible, which I’ve tried to pass on to my children, and hopefully they will pass on to their future children.
 
As John continued to explain the work of The Talbert House Fatherhood Project, what stood out in stark contrast to me was the destructive value of NOT having fathers in the home. According to the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood, children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to live in poverty, three times more likely to fail in school or commit suicide, and two times more likely to abuse drugs, develop behavioral problems and be involved in crimes. After processing those statistics, I knew this was an opportunity to further expand my grandfather’s and father’s legacy, and pass on the value of fatherhood beyond our family.
 
I joined the committee, attended my first Fatherhood Luncheon and found myself serving as chair of the luncheon the following year. Over the last ten years, we took the Fatherhood Luncheon from barely breaking even to generating $325,000 as the Fatherhood Project’s biggest fundraiser. We’ve also increased the attendance from less than 100 people to over 600 at this year’s luncheon. The Fatherhood Project itself grew into a leading model for similar programs across the United States. As the program grew over time, so did my involvement. Currently I serve on the executive board of directors for Talbert House, and I am also honored to chair my fourth Fatherhood Luncheon this year.
 
This program creates tremendous value for our community. In the past ten years, The Fatherhood Project achieved the following outcomes:
  • 2,013 fathers enrolled in support services
  • 1,050 fathers received legal consultation
  • 552 fathers obtained employment
  • 144 fathers obtained visitation
  • 138 fathers obtained housing
  • 85 fathers obtained custody
Dad, Grandpa, your legacies inspired me to get involved, and this Father’s Day, I am sending your account statement with your return on investment. The value of having you in my life has expanded far beyond my children to ultimately help impact over 6,000 children in greater Cincinnati. 
 
For more information on The Talbert House Fatherhood Project and the Fatherhood Luncheon, please visit this page: https://www.talberthouse.org/news/events-2/fatherhood-luncheon-9/
 
R. Mark Addy
R. Mark Addy
President and COO, Phillips Edison Grocery Center REIT III; Executive Vice President, Phillips Edison & Company