A Lesson for All of Us – Success in Business and Love
Marriage is a sacred commitment to one another. When you sign up for better or for worse, you are signing up for everything in-between. The couples who have mastered this unbreakable bond are the ones who realize that together they can conquer anything as a team. Yet, how does a love withstand when couples have not only been together for years, but work together as well? While some may be hesitant to admit it can work, others have defied the odds and show how being in business together only strengthens their marriage. The Peabodys, Goods and Barbarossas are all amazing power couples, and through faith, commitment, hard work and trust, they share with us their success in business and love.
After almost 20 years of marriage, Mark and Cheryl Peabody decided to embark on a new adventure: they began working at Peabody Engineering & Supply Inc. when Mark and his brother Larry purchased the business from their father. Mark is now the CEO of the company, while Cheryl currently runs the human resources department. Mark shares, “Running a business is like having a large family. Each individual has their own unique issues.” They were recently nominated and voted by their employees as one of the top businesses in the Inland Empire. Cheryl uses careful tact and communication to effectively care for her employees and clients. Mark is the organizer and takes control, with an eye on the big picture. They work together to propel the business forward and create a better team. When asked to speak about one another, Cheryl lovingly answered, “I love Mark’s leadership qualities, his charisma, and his organization,” while Mark responds, “I adore how compassionate and approachable Cheryl is, and recognize that she has a servant’s heart.”
They avoid taking their work home with them with a tradition. “We have a little saying: When we pull out of the facility, we no longer talk about work and we leave it at the driveway.” They see each other every day, yet don’t always cross paths at work. Mark chuckles, “When we’re at work, I’m the CEO and she respects me as authority, and as soon as we’re out the driveway she’s the CEO. She is my wife and my job is to make her happy and keep her happy!” They perform as a team and embrace what the apostle Paul said by considering it all joy when they face challenges. “We are in the trenches together through the day. We run into many conflicts in life and approach it joyfully in life. If God brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it,” Mark describes. Cheryl adds, “We take life as it comes. Our toughest times have brought us closer together. I don’t want to run away from a problem; I want to run to it and face it with him.”
To increase intimacy, the two often have date nights and enjoy vacationing together. They stress that on a daily basis you must sacrifice yourself for one another if you want to have a solid relationship. Last year, Mark surprised Cheryl with a second honeymoon for their 30th wedding anniversary – a two week cruise to the Caribbean. Cheryl recalls her joy, “When we got to the ship in the room, he proposed to me again and asked me to remarry him on one knee.”
These two know who they are as individuals and explore their individuality through their hobbies and involvement in the community. Cheryl enjoys quilting and serving at Crossroads Church, as well as being on the Board of Directors of the Employers Advisory Council. Mark loves gardening on their half acre property, as well as gives service in the community and church. He is a member of the Rotary Club, Chairman of the Corona Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Fire and Ice Chili Cook Off, and is on the Board of Governors at the Corona Regional Medical Center. Between all these activities and running a successful company, they have a marriage that has stood the test of time. The key Cheryl says is, “We always have a good sense of humor in the relationship and laugh a lot. Don’t take yourself so seriously.” Mark adds, “Try to not interrupt and have good eye contact. Don’t lash out when you’re angry because then you say things you don’t mean. God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. Think about what you say before you say it.”
They acknowledge what has truly set their marriage’s foundation: “We appreciate and honor and respect each other, and that mentality and mindset comes to work with us.”
John and Kelly Good are an ambitious couple who opened Good & Associates Insurance Services together just one year after being married. They have now been in business for over 20 years! Beyond a successful business, their marriage of 22 years is stronger than ever. They met through the insurance industry as independent contractors. Kelly shares, “We no longer agreed with the ethics of [our] former company,” so they decided to take a leap of faith and start their own business. When asked how their marriage makes their business partnership stronger, they express, “We are all in and everything is tied together, and there is no turning back. One strengthens the commitment to the other.”
The Goods have a compassionate relationship, and when faced with challenges, their strengths complement one another. Kelly acknowledges that John is more focused on the details and the minutiae of the company, while she sees the big picture and vision. “We tend to look at the challenges as an opportunity to make us a better agency. We approach it with a lot of prayer. You seek God’s wisdom for the situation.” Kelly loves John’s loyalty, compassion, and his strong work ethic. John adores Kelly’s compassion for others, her kindness, personal character, and her integrity. He notes, “Kelly is very warm and likeable, and she has an uncanny ability to deal with difficult people. She manages people with leadership, combined with warmth, and has a great deal of technical expertise with her industry knowledge.”
But it’s not all business! Kelly loves that she “[gets] to work with someone who understands me and my quirky humor.” John thoughtfully shares, “I’m lucky to work with my best friend.” Their company centers on family and God, “We remind ourselves that every family we help comes from our community and God has entrusted us to help them.”
Their individuality and dedication to their marriage is what keeps the passion alive. Outside of work, she enjoys current affairs, politics, and studying the founding fathers of our U.S. History for fun, as well as cooking and entertaining. John likes golfing and spending time with his friends. They intimately shared their love for one another with ease. John expresses, “I just think my spouse is really attractive!” At the same time, Kelly swoons, “My husband is aging very well! We enjoy our home and doing simple things together.”
They both stress the importance of not getting bogged down on the little problems and keeping your eyes on the big picture. They agree as a couple to keep their eyes on the prize which is to be married your entire life. John reveals, “It’s hard work being married and working together, and you have to be committed to both with the same energy.” Kelly adds, “Expect that you’re going to have tough seasons both in your business and your marriage. In order for either to be successful, you have to have the commitment to see it through to the other side.”
Celebrating 20 years of marriage this year and over 15 years in business together, Frank and Kristin Barbarossa understand the dynamics of a successful working and personal relationship. Before the creation of their business Onsite Computing, Frank had spent more time at his Orange County office and in traffic than where his heart was: at home. However, he and Kristin utilized their strengths to form a business based in their hometown of Corona that provides computer services to other companies in surrounding cities. Frank shares, “Kristin has a Master’s Degree and worked in HR, which is a huge help to the business. My background is in Business and IT. Both our strengths complement each other.” Though they work in the same office, they manage two different playing fields as Kristin describes, “I take care of human resources and financial accounting while Frank is directly managing and working in sales.”
Together, Frank and Kristin have come together as part of a team. Kristin shares, “We have great communication about the issues; sometimes that means walking away from a problem and coming back to resolve it. The biggest benefit we have is keeping God in the center of our business and family. He balances everything out.” They avoid making things in the office personal, and Frank stresses, “We’ve been working together for over 15 years. Business is business and what’s personal is personal…it’s a learning process.” Being so close helps them stay on the same page at work. They both have the same interests, morals and values, and they bring these key ingredients to the workplace. Kristin shares her unique solution to conflict, “I sometimes have to realize that we don’t always have the same perspective, and try to appreciate that. He’s not wrong, it’s just different. I respect what perspective he has.” Together they strengthen one another with love and respect.
Outside of work, they enjoy vacations, date nights and are active members of their church at United Way in Corona. Kristin is a member of the Soroptimist International of Corona, and between their 15-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son, they are busy with many family activities. Kristin explains, “It’s not so much about where we go, but that we go together. We take the time to decompress from work and the stress of life.” When asked to share one another’s strengths, they both smile, with Frank replying, “Kristin is patient, excellent with numbers, and brought experience and knowledge to our company that I don’t naturally have.” Kristin joined with, “He’s very determined, he’s passionate about what he believes in, and has strong faith.” Through example, they urge everyone to learn to make time for one another, whether you work together or not. Do your best to separate work from your personal life even when it’s difficult, and nurture your relationships daily. They conclude with, “At the end of the day it’s not all about work. It’s about keeping the focus on our relationship and on our family as a whole.”
Sabrina Short, Staff Writer