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Dads You Should Know

Dads you should know around Central Florida. They’re businessmen, community advocates and, most importantly, dads. Get to know these amazing local fathers.

Dads You Should Know

Chad Garmon – YMCA of Central Florida

As the Executive Director of Christian Initiatives and Community Partnerships at the YMCA of Central Florida, Chad Garmon often uses his faith as a guide. He plays a large role in bringing community members together based on their Christian values, to both support and celebrate. 

In October 2017, Garmon received a phone call that would shift his family dynamic and once again call upon his faith. The social worker who guided Garmon and his wife through the 2014 adoption of their son, Micah, was calling to inquire about their interest in adopting Micah’s 6-month-old sister from South Korea.

Adoptions in this region cost upwards of $50,000, a daunting expense for many. A family with strong faith, the Garmons felt called by God to adopt again to keep the siblings together. They applied for grants, set up a fundraising page online and leaned on the kindness of loved ones and strangers as they navigated the process.

“It’s very humbling but also very encouraging that the world is still a place where people love each other, want to love their neighbor and want to care for each other,” Garmon says.

In his family’s experience with adoption, as well as parenting as a whole, Garmon believes in being part of a community of like-minded people who can offer advice and support. It also helps to have a positive example of fatherhood in the family.

“I have the benefit of a truly great dad who did an amazing job teaching me what it is to be a father and to be a husband,” Garmon says.

He hopes to welcome his new daughter, Faith, home later this year or early next year. She will join the Garmons’ two biological children, Eli and Rileigh, and her brother Micah.

Robert Masson – Masson Spine Institute

Founder of Masson Spine Institute, Robert Masson, MD, FACS, is recognized internationally for his expertise in complex spinal disorders and sports spine medicine. When it comes to his five children, Kyle, Brett, Casey, Alex and Keira, he says, “I try to be a good dad, but I’m privileged to be a friend and a confidant.

  • Was there a specific person or defining moment in your life that helped you discover your passion and calling?
    • I’ve always been on a mission to push myself forward. I was a passionate student and athlete when I was young and found myself wanting to be an astronaut. It was through that interest that I decided to pursue biomedical engineering, medical school and the Navy, giving me a broad background that I hoped would have made me a space shuttle candidate. While in medical school at UF, doing research in stem cell biology of spinal cord injury, I met the chairman of neurosurgery there, Dr. Albert Rhoton, broadly considered to be the “father” of modern microneurosurgery. His quest was to advance microsurgery of the brain. I’m following his footsteps with the hope of inspiring advancement of microsurgery of the spine.
  • What keeps you motivated during difficult times?
    • My motto is “adversity is opportunity in disguise.” I’ve always felt that the greatest success and growth comes out of the troubling times, so I’ve always learned to embrace those days, power through them, grasp the positive, focus on turning the negatives and changing the tides. No matter what, the hard times make the good times that much better!
  • What’s the hardest thing about being a father?
    • I love being a father. I don’t find anything about it being hard. I just hope that I inspire my kids and give them self-esteem, confidence and optimism about their journey.
  • What’s the most rewarding thing about being a father?
    • I love learning things through their eyes and experiences. I’ve recaptured my youth, re-learning things and learning new things with them. When my oldest son, Kyle, convinced my wife and I that he had a legitimate passion for motorsports, I chaperoned him to Formula racing school, and, four years later, I’m leading the IMSA Mazda Prototype Challenge Championship and looking to race in the Rolex 24 of Daytona with Kyle as a teammate some day. These shared experiences are the proudest moments of my life without question.
  • Where do you envision yourself in five years as it pertains to helping others?
    • I hope that our team will have helped inspire surgeons and healthcare professionals worldwide to push their own boundaries on behalf of their patients, as more of our technologies are brought to market and as we expand our Centers of Excellence in micro reconstructive spine surgery. As I get older, I’m also getting more and more passionate about wellness, preventative health and maintaining personal fitness, and I will continue to share my experiences in hopes of raising American health consciousness.

Richie McPeak – Nature’s Dynamics

Richie McPeak founded Nature’s Dynamics in 2004 to provide gummy supplements and probiotics that are developed using whole foods, spices and botanicals. As a father, the brand was designed with the health of entire families in mind.

  • Was there a specific person or defining moment in your life that helped you discover your passion and calling?
    • My brother Troy inspired me to study the incredible health benefits of spices, fruits and vegetables. While having lunch with my son Conner, who was in kindergarten, I noticed the foods in the lunchroom were either packaged or void of fruits and vegetables. I believed, as a dad, I could create healthy products and make a difference. From that moment, I started educating kids and parents about incredible the benefits of fruits, vegetables and spices.
  • What keeps you motivated during difficult times?
    • In 2014, I battled a very aggressive sarcoma with 400 hours of chemotherapy, eight weeks of radiation and I lost most of my left leg. When I’m having a bad day, I realize my worst day may be somebody’s best day. Every breath is a miracle.
  • What’s the hardest thing about being a father?
    • Watching our kids fail and hurt, knowing they must do this to succeed sometimes.
  • What’s the most rewarding thing about being a father?
    • Getting a hug from my sons Conner and Troy and daughter Sydney. A hug brightens your day no matter how dark it’s been.
  • Where do you envision yourself in five years as it pertains to helping others?
    • Over the next five years my goal is to continue to educate people about the incredible health benefits of spices, fruits and vegetables, create food-based CBD gummy supplements and grow our sarcoma foundation for kids, Lollipops4Love.

Pete Crotty – Jailhouse Outreach Ministry

Owner of Tradewinds Resort Specialists and current candidate for Orange County District 3 Commissioner, Pete Crotty is a long-time Orlando resident who grew up in the days before Disney, when the area was cow pastures and orange groves. While his work keeps him busy, Crotty remains dedicated to a jailhouse outreach ministry at the Orange County jail that he has been involved with every week since July 2011.  

In those seven years, he visited the jail over 300 times and has spoken to around 10,000 to 12,000 inmates. “When I look around that crowd, I see talent, I see potential,” Crotty says.

He was inspired to participate in the ministry because he’s been there. Crotty battled his own addiction issues throughout his life. He got to rock bottom and built himself back up not only for himself but also for his family, which includes his two daughters and one son.  

Throughout last year’s hurricane season, Crotty was extremely active with relief efforts. He collected five semi-truck loads of goods and delivered it to Texas following Hurricane Harvey. As he arrived back in town just days before Hurricane Irma hit Florida, he saw a mass exodus of residents but still headed home. While a tree damaged his house, he worked to help others in his home state that were worse off and continued his efforts by collecting over a million pounds of goods for Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

“My biggest thing is, I’m in the prime of my life, and I want to serve the community because the community has been very good to me,” Crotty says.

Kevin Harrington – Global Innovator & Entrepreneur

As an original shark on Shark Tank, the creator of the infomercial and co-founding board member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization, Kevin Harrington has found success many times over. We recently sat down with him to talk business and fatherhood. You can read even more of our conversation on www.CentralFloridaLifestyle.com, but here are some of the highlights

  • Was there a specific person or defining moment in your life that helped you discover your passion and calling?
    • There were three influences in my life early on: Napoleon Hill, my father and Zig Ziglar. I was very entrepreneurial in high school and my father encouraged me to pursue my dreams. I always believed my father was my first mentor. At the age of 15, I got super charged up when I read Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” and realized that one of the core theories was whatever your mind can conceive and you believe then you will achieve. The other book was Zig Ziglar’s “See You at the Top.” Zig ended up being a mentor to me. Those three were major contributors to me being an entrepreneur the way I am.
  • What keeps you motivated during difficult times?
    • Winston Churchill has a saying that I live by: “Success is being able to go from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm.” It’s successes that you need to focus on and get the most out of because the failures will be in between the successes. Minimize the failures and get them over with quickly. Lose as little as possible then focus in on those successes. I don’t have a problem with failing because I realize that’s just a part of the success process.
  • What’s the hardest thing about being a father?
    • I’ve got two boys, and the hardest thing is watching them go through the difficult times knowing that these are things that they have not been able to deal with yet because they don’t have enough life experience. I think being a father, it’s important that you don’t just give it to them on a golden platter. They have to work for it. They have to earn it. They have to get the respect and do it on their own.
  • What’s the most rewarding thing about being a father?
    • I think I can say my oldest boy has now been with me for almost 10 years. So it’s amazing to see that I can just turn things over to him. To see the transition that the kids make, it just makes you so proud. Whenever I decide to completely retire, I’ve got two boys that are going to be able to continue handling and building and overseeing and running the businesses that we’ve created.
  • Where do you envision yourself in five years as it pertains to helping others?
    • I spent my first 30 years trying to find what I want to do. I spent my next 30 years building the businesses in that passion, and I’m spending the next 30 years empowering entrepreneurs to be the best they can be. My new role isn’t to be the CEO and run these businesses but to empower others to succeed.


Lyndsay Fogarty Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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