Father-sons business cracks backs
You know what they say don’t mix family and business. "They" must not have written any books used in chiropractics.
Duane Francis, owner of Park City Chiropractic Clinic, has been a local business owner since 1986. But in 2000 he took on two new partners he hopes will one day run him into retirement.
Eric and Corey Francis, Duane’s sons, both graduated from Palmer West Chiropractic in San Jose, Calif., and then gave their father a call. It’s been a family business ever since.
Shelly Francis, Duane’s daughter, also works at the clinic as a receptionist, while Pam Francis, wife and mother, does the company’s billing.
"I take advantage of it everyday," Shelly said of working with her Dad and brothers. "I get adjusted a lot and I get to learn from them and educate myself, which is great."
Eric said Duane’s example got him interested in chiropractics.
"The biggest thing for me is when I was playing football as a kid and someone would get injured," Eric said. "Dad was the team doctor and I would get to see him help my teammates. We’ve just been getting adjusted our whole lives and we’ve seen family members and others get adjusted, so it’s always been there."
But it’s not just Eric and Corey who have followed in their father’s footsteps. Duane followed his father into chiropractics, who followed his father.
"Corey and I are fourth-generation chiropractors," Eric said. "My father’s grandfather was one of the first to graduate from Palmer’s in Iowa. It’s in the family blood and we just decided to follow tradition. It has its challenges, but it’s great to have Dad around to be able to ask him questions and continue to learn from him."
Eric, who has three children of his own, said he would love for all or any of them to be in chiropractics, but that the choice is theirs.
"They keep me busy with all their bumps and bruises and wanting to get adjusted," he said. "But that would be awesome if they got into it. My oldest, Easton, when I start an adjustment he really pays close attention to what I’m doing. He’s said he’s thinking about it."
Duane left for California on Thursday to visit his other daughter, Tammy. Because he will be out of town on Father’s Day, Eric said they’ll celebrate when Duane returns, and that the celebration would include a round or two of golf a family favorite pastime.
"He loves to play," Eric said of his father. "He’s always challenging and pushing. He can’t let a hole go by without trying to win it. He loves golf because in the game your spine is so important."
Duane said that his competitive nature carries over to the workplace, from time to time.
"I still gloat when the boys go do an adjustment and might not do it just right," Duane said. "They’ll come to me and ask me to come help and I’ll be able to do it. That makes me feel good that I still have a special touch, which is probably just a matter of my experience."
Duane said that one of the best parts about working with his children is that he gets to see them grow to appreciate the things he appreciates. They like what he likes. They do what he does and sometimes they can do it better.
"When I first had the boys come in, I had a lot of patients say, they weren’t going to see them because they liked me," Duane said. "Now patients are coming in and saying, ‘OK Duane, we don’t want to see you after all, we want to see your sons."
Although losing a patient to one of his sons might touch his pride, it is Duane’s overall goal to give Eric and Corey all the work & someday.
"I would like someone to take my place," Duane said. "I was hoping that they would come in and I would share the knowledge I have and that they would end up taking over the practice. When we have our office meetings it’s been a fun transition to let them take over the practice. It’s been great to watch them. Turning the business over to them will be a very easy thing because I know they’ll keep the tradition going. But I’m not done yet."
Although the majority of the time they get to spend together is at work, they all agreed that it’s not hard to leave the office behind when they go home.
"It’s been easy to separate business from family," Eric said. "Dad’s always been really good at that. When we’re working, we’re working, and when it’s family time, it’s just family time. He’s a great dad."
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