The things that a person surrounds himself with often reflects who he is and what is meaningful to him.

When I first came to USFSB in May of 1995, my brother was very sick and I looked at myself as a caretaker of the business for his benefit.  When I spent time at USFSB’s offices, I would use the big, well appointed office that my brother had set aside for his use.   I was not there every day or all day since I would go back and forth from my law office to the offices of USFSB with visits to my brother’s bedside in between.

As I sat in my brother’s office at USFSB it was clearly his office and the walls and decor were full of the political posters, awards, and memorabilia that reflected his intense interest and involvement in the world of high stakes politics.  During that year before his death in June, 1996, I could never bring myself to change or even move anything in his office.  I would sit in his office and feel very much like a visitor or maybe, at times, an intruder.

When my brother passed away and it was obvious that I would be operating USFSB permanently, I still did not feel comfortable making my brother’s office my own.  It took me several months before I was able to finally have the heart or courage to take over the office.

I remember the day, it was a Saturday, when I and two of my sons carefully took all of my brother’s belongings off the walls and stored them in boxes.   I still have those boxes, full of my brother’s mementos, in a storage room at USFSB.   Even though symbolic in many ways, it was an important step for me to be able to replace my brother’s meaningful objects with my own.

There are many types of transitions when one takes over a business.   There is the legal transition of acquiring the business and the physical transition of taking over the operation of the business, both of which had already happened by the time of my brother’s death.

The most difficult transition for me was the emotional transition of feeling that the business was mine to operate as I saw fit.  That emotional transition to USFSB was not complete until I was able to make my brother’s office at USFSB truly my office at USFSB.