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Generational Legacy

Father to son: passing on important life lessons

Article by Patranya Bhoolsuwan

Photography by Courtesy of Ray DiNardi and Dwain Frazier

Originally published in Red Rock City Lifestyle

When it comes to family legacies, it is often about looking to the past for life lessons and hoping for a better future for those who come after us. 

For Ray DiNardi, General Manager of Jaguar Land Rover Las Vegas, he said one of the most important lessons he wants to pass on to his children is to give back as much as possible.

"It's so important, both to the community and to your own wellbeing," said DiNardi. "When you give back, you really get back so much more."

DiNardi says that when it comes to his son, 37-year-old Justin DiNardi, he sees that life lesson he passed on play out daily. Justin is currently living and working in Arizona as the Director of Operations for the Coconino County School District. Outside of his full-time work, Justin is the Chairman of the Board for the Coconino County Search and Rescue (CCSSAR 501c3).

"Justin has been doing volunteer work in Search and Rescue for 12 years," said DiNardi. "It's really his passion, helping people and solving problems. He's always been good at that. I remember the first time I took him hiking in the Grand Canyon. He was probably around 11, and that's when he fell in love with the outdoors."

DiNardi said his son's passion for adventure started young, and as a father, he knew the importance of learning to be independent. So, when Justin turned 18, DiNardi gifted him with a tent, a sleeping bag, and a one-way ticket to Maine.

"Justin actually went out and bought an old motorcycle, almost as old as he was, and he spent the entire summer bringing it back home. He put 6,500 miles on it and came back the night before he was about to start his Senior year of high school. I think it is important for people to learn to be alone and to be comfortable with just you and you. He came back a different person."

For another prominent Las Vegas business owner, Dwain Frazier, who owns Frazier Allstate Insurance & Financial Services, he said he also knew early on the kind of person his son would turn out to be.

“I will never forget the day my son Caleb's high school counselor called me in and said, "Your son is so social. We love him, but he also drives us crazy because he just wants to talk to everybody!”

That magnetic personality and gift for gab first landed Caleb, who's now 39, a career in sales before moving on to the mortgage industry, where he also quickly excelled. But Dwain said his son also worked 10-12 hours a day, 6-7 days a week.

"That's when I told him if you are going to work this hard, you might as well work for yourself!"

And that's exactly what he did. Caleb opened his own Allstate office in Phoenix earlier this year.

"It was 2/1. February 1st. I am very proud of him," said Frazier. "I know he's good at his job, but he's doing what he knows. I have worked for Allstate all my life, so he has seen what a good company this is, and now with his own business, he can control his destiny."

Like DiNardi, Frazier also believes in passing on the legacy of helping others through your work. He also has this advice for any young men (or women) who are looking to find meaning in life and career:

"You have to have a passion for anything you do. For me, it's insurance. I have been doing it for nearly 40 years, and I don't think I will ever fully retire! Ha ha," said Frazier. "My hope is for Caleb to one day take over my office here in Las Vegas and pass that legacy on to his sons. When you do what you love and believe in your company, things will always work out."

Like DiNardi, Frazier also believes in passing on the legacy of helping others through the work that you do..."You have to have a passion for anything you do. When you do what you love and believe in your company, things will always work out."

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