The bond between fathers and daughters is unmistakable. Dads want to protect their princesses from the world, and daughters grow up hoping to find a life partner that will emulate their father’s best qualities. So just how important is the “first man” in a woman’s life? We spoke with father/daughter duo Chip and Allison Johnston to learn how Chip’s influence has shaped who Allison is today.
4word: Tell our readers a little about yourselves.
Chip: I am 60 years old and have lived in Texas for 37 years. Since moving to Texas from Ohio, I have worked in the construction industry with a major manufacturing company for 4 years and in my own construction oriented business for 33 years. I have enjoyed living in Texas and raising two daughters who are now 28 and 24 years old. I enjoy working out, fly fishing, hanging out at the lake, and working on building projects. I am active in my church in my spare time.
Allison: I am a 28 year old commercial real estate executive, born and raised in Dallas. I grew up in an amazing Christian home where I was raised to respect others as well as myself. My upbringing, thanks to my mom and dad, and the selfless examples of what a Christian man and woman should be have established the strong foundation I have to this day. I have a younger sister who embodies these traits as well and could not be more proud of the family God blessed me with.
4word: Chip, how would you describe your relationship with Allison? Has your father/daughter bond gone through transitions through the years?
Chip: My relationship with Allison is more like a best friend than a daughter. We have been active in the YMCA Father Daughter Indian Princess Program and different sports activities. We have weathered our ups and downs with our faith and strength of friendship.
4word: Allison, what characteristics/attributes did you grow up admiring in your father? As an adult, how has your father’s example shaped who you are today?
Allison: There’s no mistaking the likeness I share with my dad. I possess so many similar qualities and attributes of my father’s, even down to the shape of my nose! I grew up wishing I could be just like my dad. If he ate two Big Macs at McDonald’s, well then I sure was going to eat two as well! I am convinced that I had the most dedicated dad of any of my friends growing up. My dad would schedule business trips around my soccer and basketball games and usually even practices. He has the most giving heart, and I have literally watched him give the shirt off of his back for others. His example has helped me experience the joy of giving instead of receiving. There is no greater gift in life than learning how to have a selfless heart, and I thank my dad for showing me what that truly means.
4word: Chip, what are some of your proudest memories of Allison?
- School: Her ability to get along with all people and the ability to respect and talk to older people.
- Sports: I was always proud of her being a leader by example on any team she played on by and giving 110% effort to better the team.
- Academically: Allison always put in extra effort to make sure she kept her grades up in high school and college.
- Charity: She was always willing to help worthy causes.
- Faith: She was active in our church with Sunday school, choir trips, mission trips, and church projects, knowing faith is an important part of life.
4word: Allison, what are some of your favorite memories of your father?
Allison: Some of my fondest childhood memories were going on Indian Princess campouts with my dad and watching him dress up in an Indian headdress and face paint as the “Sand Painter,” telling campfire stories to the hundreds of daughters and dads in attendance. We grew up going down to the lake and working on projects together most weekends, and now we have the major project of renovating my first home that I recently purchased. It taught me the importance of hard work and spending time with the people who mean the most in your life … not to mention the difference between a Phillips head screwdriver and an Allen Wrench screwdriver. My mom and dad worked hard to provide for our family yet always made sure that we remembered the blessings we were given through serving others and giving back to those in need.
4word: What was the hardest time you both had in your relationship and how did you overcome it?
Chip: I would say Allison’s first car accident. She ran into another girl’s car in a parking lot with my car and didn’t tell me about it until the next day. I didn’t get mad; I figured it would be a learning experience. We went around and got estimates to fix my car and told the girl whom she hit to take her car to the body shop to get it fixed and get a rental car while hers was in the shop. When all the cars were fixed, Allison had to write checks to pay for both cars and the rental out of her savings. I saw this as a way for her to learn how much it costs to fix a car and to be responsible for what you cause.
Allison: The hardest time in our relationship was when I went through calling off an engagement and wedding. It was harder for me to deal with than I thought, so it caused me to push friends and family away. If it weren’t for my dad staying patient with me and talking me through it, I could have ended up in a very bad place. I am grateful that he cares so much about his daughters and has always had our backs.
4word: How did both of you weather the different stages of parenting/childhood?
- Tweens: Easiest stage. Allison was always busy with activities and she liked that. She was always a hard worker and did not need a lot of pushing.
- Teens: In her teens, she again was active in school sports and took college-level courses to help get into college. Her car accident was during high school and that was not hard to fix. She was active in our church youth programs.
- College: Allison went away to college, and she was active in several groups starting her freshman year. That keep her busy along with school work and made her time in school go fast. She also helped with some of her college expenses.
- Young Adult: Allison has always been independent and has been in several relationships, business and personal, that have helped strengthen her with jobs and people in this period. You will always have disappointments in life, and she has learned from those to become a stronger person.
Allison: I have always been “buddies” with my dad since I love all sports and working on projects around the house. It was easy for us to find common interests and get along. He was the mediator between both of his daughters and his wife at many times to keep the peace. I think he did a pretty good job of raising two daughters that are strong and independent and he is a wonderful advisor to us as young adults in all aspects of life.
4word: Chip, what advice would you give to fathers of daughters?
Chip: You can never spend too much time with your child. The time from birth through high school is the most important. You will have plenty of time for golf when they go off to college. Encourage your child that they can do anything they put their mind to. They have to finish what they start and be responsible for their actions; the world doesn’t owe them a living. Make them contribute to big ticket items like saving up for and paying 50% of their first car. This will give them greater independence later on in life. Bottom line: be their best friend and father.
4word: Allison, with Father’s Day approaching, what sets your dad apart from all the other dads in the world?
Allison: You could ask anyone who knows my dad and it would be unanimous that he is one of the most positive people they know. He is always encouraging our family to look at the positive in life and not dwell on the negative. My dad enforced the mentality in me from a young age that it is okay to fail, but it is never okay to give up. Our family has experienced its share of sickness, death, and difficult times, but my dad remained a rock through all of them. He can fix anything, build anything…it pretty much explains why I have yet to meet a man that can live up to these standards! For that, I am honored to share how much my dad means to me in light of Father’s Day.
What are some of your favorite memories of your father? Fathers, what example and legacy do you hope you’ve left with your children? As Chip and Allison showed, quality time and investing in each other’s lives are the “secrets” to building a parent/child bond that will last for years.
Fathers, what are some tips you’d give to new and soon-to-be parents? Sons and daughters, what was the biggest impact your father had on your life?
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Chip Johnston has a BA in accounting and economics and an MBA in corporate finance and marketing and 37 years’ experience in the insulation industry. He had four years of experience with Owens / Corning Fiberglas in the Mechanical Insulation Division (1977-1981). His first assignment with OCF was a one year promotional trip as “The Insulation Doctor” traveling from coast to coast calling on major insulation accounts and industrial process plants with insulation applications. His primary duties were calling on mechanical insulation contractors, distributors, mechanical engineers, architects providing AIA continuing education classes, cold storage contractors and owners, along with specification work in a territory covering North Texas, Oklahoma, S. W. Arkansas, Northern Louisiana and New Mexico. In 1982, he established Talon Products Inc. and has served a five states area as a manufacturer’s representative to the present.
Allison Johnston is a Vice President with JLL’s Landlord Leasing Group in Dallas, where she is responsible for leasing and marketing office buildings within the company’s portfolio. She attended Auburn University and served as co-founder of The Auburn Real Estate Society. After graduation, Allison returned to Dallas and began her career in the energy industry before transitioning to commercial real estate. Actively involved in a variety of organizations and charities, Allison is a board member of NTCAR’s Young Professionals Forum, TREC Young Guns, CREW, Urban Armadillos, Big Brothers Big Sisters and 4word. In 2013, Allison was recognized as a NTCAR Young Citizen Award Finalist as well as a CREW Outstanding New Member finalist.