I grew up in suburban Fairfax County, Virginia, about 15 miles from the U.S. Capitol. My parents worked hard to provide for us and as a result, I spent much of my time with my grandparents, Homer and Chickie Bacas, who lived about a mile away.
Born to Greek immigrants, Homer (who I called Papou, Greek for grandpa) was a hard-working World War II vet who took GI Bill classes in Real Estate and supported his wife and four daughters as a commercial real-estate broker, scraping out a comfortable life for his family and having a good time doing it. Papou helped develop many parts of the county, and knew the area better than anyone. He was semi-retired by the time I was born and so had the free time to take me along to his various business meetings and errands. It was during this time spent together that he taught me much of what I know about business.
Papou was a fair, honest guy; well-liked by everyone he met, he walked around Fairfax with a big smile and a story or funny quip ready at all times. He taught me that business was best when everyone walked away from a deal happy, that a dishonest action would always come back to haunt you, and to treat every person as if they were the most important person you’d ever talked with, because they very well might be. Respect, kindness and integrity may not always be the quickest way to profit, but they’re the keys to happiness and success.
Homer Bacas passed in 2006 at age 82, having lived a long and happy life. Every interaction I have in business and in life is guided by the lessons he taught me as a boy, and I run my business hoping that if he were here, he would be proud. Every job that lands on my desk is guaranteed to hold up to the Homer Bacas standard; that we will do everything we can to do right by you, no matter what.