Meet Dr. Clay Weisberg and Boots
Fourth, in my series of families in business, will catch you by surprise I think. Not only have I met a young man who joined his father’s dental practice six years ago but I also met – another member of the family – sort of.
I am of course talking about Dr. Clay Weisberg and his beloved dog, Boots. Boots is a Portugese Water Dog who was born on March 7 – imagine that – a Pisces, just like me – I like him even more. Clay and Boots are both very interesting and friendly and just as sweet as they can be but I probably should tell you about Clay first, huh?
If you visit the website of the Weisberg’s dental practice and take a look at Dr. Clay’s credentials and all the groups he is a member of, it would be easy to think of him as an over-achiever. If you were to dig a little deeper what you would find is a young man who is passionate about the profession he has chosen and a desire to excel in that career. Not only that but by having included Boots in his life and training him as a therapy dog, you are suddenly aware of Clay’s love of people and a compelling need to help others.
Dr. Clay grew up in his dad’s office (like so many children of entrepreneurs) and he loved the experience. Not only did he attend the more obvious schools for someone of his caliber (Norfolk Academy, Brown University, Medical College of Virginia and then his post -doctoral degree at the University of Florida) he also had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. This was an amazing opportunity for Clay especially since he is an avid kite boarder.Australianot only provided an exceptional education but also was an awesome place for this young man to enjoy his favorite pastime. Clay says that kite boarding helps bring balance to his life. And I’m sure Boots would agree because when they are not working at the dental practice they love to be at the beach, kite boarding for Clay and paddle boarding or playing fetch for Boots.
What an adorable pair they are. Clay’s disarming smile will put you at ease immediately and Boots sweet manner will make you feel at home right away.
Visit them for all your dental needs. Be sure to ask about the arrangement we have made with them for a portrait session from my studio and teeth whitening from this friendly and amazing dental practice that is a great reflection of families in business today.
I enjoyed my visit with Dr. Clay Weisberg and had the opportunity to meet Boots while doing so. When we discussed a portrait session for this blog post I knew it simply had to include Boots. Enjoy the video of Dr. Clay Weisberg and his wonderful dog, Boots.
Boy, we know what that means don’t we? From infancy through adolescence, teens, young adult and mature years we all need and want to be feed. One of Americans favorite past times is eating out – at all ages. All you have to do is visit any restaurant and you will see and hear all ages there – enjoying the food, refreshments and company.
Eating at the dinner table back in the 50’s was the thing to do. It was a time to catch up on the activities of the day and to simply share one another’s company. Then the next 20 or 30 years changed things in our lives. Our lives became so filled with all types of activities and busyness that sitting down at the dinner table together just became more and more challenging.
Then 911 happened.
families become closer
Suddenly many of us began to think differently about our lives. We began to re-evaluate the time we spent (or didn’t spend) with our families and friends. I think we began to appreciate quality in everything in our lives – including the quality time we spent with our family and friends.
The busyness of our lives did not slow down but the choices we made changed. We found a way to gather at the dining table to share our daily lives once again but we were too tired to cook or forgot how to cook (that would definitely apply to me) so what did we do? We found our favorite restaurants with really good food and an atmosphere that felt welcoming.
All this leads me to the third article about families in business. One of my favorite places to gather with friends for good food and refreshments and deserts is JoJacks (http://www.jojackscafe.com/). The staff is so welcoming and the food is really fresh and good AND on just about any given day you might find Renee and Dan’s (the owners) two children Jackson, their son and Jordan, their daughter working side by side with their parents. It warms my heart every time I see them there.
Recently I was there and little Jordan was helping out by wiping down the tables and refilling the cup supply for mom and dad. She was so cute – she looks just like a little Renee. Jackson (who looks an awful lot like his dad) was behind the counter taking orders for lunch. Both of these kids had the biggest smiles on their faces. They were happy to be there. It reminded me of my childhood working with my mother in her hair salon, sweeping floors and shampooing her customers. I loved being in the business with my mother – it made me feel like an important part of our little family.
Most people think that working for your family is cushy and fun and easy. That was not my experience at all. My mother had high expectation for me and I was taught to do things the right way and to be polite and friendly to the customer.
She did not cut me any slack! You could see these same qualities being taught to Jackson and Jordan. As busy as I could see mom and dad were, you could still feel their parental eye on their children and their desire to teach them how to take pride in their work and how to do their best.
I hate to say it but taking pride in what you do and working hard for what you have, rather than expecting everything to be handed to you on a silver platter, is very rare today. We adults have created a generation of children who have an attitude of entitlement rather than having to work for what they have. We all want our kids to have more and better than we had growing up and frankly most of us are in a position to be able to give our children more than every before. I’m as guilty of it as anyone. I always wanted our son to have every opportunity in life to succeed and be happy and for many years I thought giving him everything he wanted was the way to accomplish it. Let me just say, I was wrong. We got lucky. Our son is kind and gentle and he has learned (the hard way) that he has to work for what he needs in life.
When I visit JoJacks (JordanJackson – get it J) I love the welcoming feeling I get from the staff, the owners and their children. I applaud the parents for trying to teach their children responsibility – “real life” for “real people”.
Visit JoJacks for lunch or dinner sometime and tell them they’re doing a great job and to keep up the good work.
One of my greatest joys in my business is being able to photograph families, just like the family of JoJacks oh yes and sharing a meal with family and friends there.
Stuff that business owners wish you knew… http://t.co/sMydScTr via @wordpressdotcom
My second article in the series of “Families in Business” is going to come in two parts. I had the opportunity to meet a father and son in business together. And it was a pure joy talking to them both. I chose to photograph them separately (for the blog) because even though they work together – they have very unique stories apart from one another.
I am speaking of the father and son dental team – Dr. Jeffrey Weisberg and Dr. Clay Weisberg.
Let me tell you Dr. Jeffrey Weisberg’s story first – after all it was he who started the practice and worked hard to build it up over the years.
Practice, practice, practice
Dr. Jeffrey has been married 37 years – that in itself is quite an accomplishment in today’s world. I also had the chance to meet Shelly, his wife and let me tell you, I could instantly see why and how they have managed to stay together for so long. It was apparent to me that they are still in love after all this time together. They also have two sons – Zach and Clay.
Shelley owned “The Dance and Body Shop” for many years and it shows. Shelley is a strikingly beautiful woman.
Zach is the genius behind “The Inertia” –The Definitive Online Surf Community – (www.theinertia.com) The Inertia features surf news, commentary, art, and photography from the global surf community’s most prominent and talented figures.
Clay is in the dental practice with his father. Clay and Boots what a pair they are – more about them in a subsequent blog article.
Back to Dr. Jeffrey for now though– his story is very interesting to me. I’m always fascinated by what has inspired someone to go into a particular business. When Jeffrey was 10 years old, while tumbling around and wrestling (as little boys will do) with his brother – his two front teeth were knocked out. Can you imagine? A visit to the dentist to see what needed to be done was in order. Back in the 50’s – an appointment with the dentist usually was horrible and this visit was no different. Jeffrey never forgot that experience either. In fact, it was many years later, when he finally got into college, that he visited a different dentist and discovered that it did not have to be so traumatic. Not at all – things had changed a lot in 20 years. This new experience peeked Jeffrey’s interest and he never forgot the change in the way things had become in dentistry.
Jeffrey originally majored in Economics in college. After returning to school in the summer he took a biology class and decided to change his major. It would be something in the medical or dental field for him. Dentistry it was to be. And from what I hear from his patients – it was the perfect field for him. He is a very good dentist- with compassion and caring for his patients. What a difference from the dentistry of the 50’s.
Jeffrey and Shelley love to play golf and I couldn’t really get either of them to tell me who is better at it but I think if you watch the little video of them on the golf course, you may decide for yourself.
Even after all this wonderful information about Jeff, and how he got into the dental field, the thing I walked away with most after meeting Dr. Jeffrey was the love he has for family. For Dr. Jeffrey, to have his son in the family business is just the icing on the cake.
I’m not sure why they call it a dental “practice” – it’s obviously that Dr. Jeffrey and Dr, Clay know what they are doing and they do it better than many.
Visit the website of Drs. Jeffrey and Clay Weisberg for information. http://www.easternvirginiadental.com Click on the link “My two Front teeth”. You will see evidence of Dr. Jeffrey’s accident as a child and how modern dentistry has changed.
Don’t forget to watch for the article about Clay and Boots. It will be therapeutic for you.
In my lifetime I have had the privilege to meet many families that work together in a family business. They work side by side, loving every minute of being together. NOT!
I laugh as I think about the next few articles I’m about to right because I know all too well what the real side of working with a family member is “really” like.
There are many joys and celebrations. Many accomplishments and rewards can be shared over time. But there can also be some serious disagreements, tension and frustrations. Through it all though the one constant that always rises to the top is the love and strength of a family bond. There is nothing like it in the whole wide world.
Nearly everyone I know who owns their own business, deep down inside, wants to have a business that their children would want to be a part of. At the very least they want their children to be able to learn from the experiences of having your own business – being your own boss.
The first family I’d like to share a story about is the Hobbs family fromGreatBridge. This is a photography family and they are all dear friends to me. Bruce (the dad) and Jeannie (his daughter) are the two member of the family I will reflect upon.
You see I’ve known them for nearly 25 years. If it weren’t for Bruce, I probably would not be where I am today. I remember the very first time I met Bruce. He was like a long lost friend that I had known my entire life. We simply hit it off like best buddies and together we developed a friendship that would rival many others over the years. I worked with Bruce in his studio and watch his dream come true. We talked for hours about what he envisioned his studio to look like one day and how he was looking forward to his daughter, Jeannie, being a part of it with him.
I still remember a picture of Jeannie that he showed me many times (it’s on her facebook page today) of her as a little girl holding a camera. It still makes me smile when I look at it.
Jeannie eventually came to work with Bruce and I watch his little girl grow into the talented photographer that Bruce always knew she would be. I watched her work side by side with her daddy for years. Jeannie became my sons Godmother and she even lived with us for a short time. She was like a sister to me and a special Aunt to my son.
Bruce encouraged me when it came time to open my own studio and he was always there for me whenever I needed him. Friends like that are a once in a lifetime gift from God.
Over the years, I watch Bruce and Jeannie build quite a photography presence in the Great Bridge area and create some amazingly beautiful work for their clients. Jeannie learned so much from her daddy and Bruce (even though Jeannie may not know it) always told me how proud he was of his little girl and how much he learned from her every day.
I saw the dream that Bruce had describes to me many years earlier – become a reality. The studio and grounds that he had carried an image of in his head and heart for so long developed and unfolded right before their eyes. Amazing!
I’ve seen them share in many phenomenal accomplishments over the years and I’ve also seen them deal with the inevitable struggles that come with working close with the people you love. We have all laughed over some silly things that have happened at their studio and we have also cried many tears.
I’ve seen Jeannie rise to the occasion many times and confront head on all the struggles life has thrown at her, even one of the hardest challenges of all– the passing of her father.
I know with all my heart that Bruce was and still is so proud of his little girl. And so am I.
Jeannie now has two children of her own. I wonder if there is a budding photographer/artist within either of them. Hmmm, I suppose we will have to wait and see.
In honor of the first family in business in my series of articles : Here is a wonderful photograph of Bruce and Jeannie and Dolores (wife/mother). You see, even my photographer friends realize the value and importance of having a portrait created.This image was created for the business. (They have a son, Keith, who is not in the business so consequently does not appear in this particular image)