Benjamin Foxen was my (Liz Wilson’s) great-great-great-grandfather.
I swear my fascination with innovation, change, transition, and learning is in my DNA. I come from a long line of explorers, life-long learners, and entrepreneurs. The name "Foxen" in my company's name is a nod to Benjamin, the sea captain who settled in early California in the 1800s after falling for a woman with roots we've traced back to settlements in the 1500s in what is now Mexico.
On the other side of the family, ancestors came to the US after the turmoil of WWI and showed tremendous flexibility and perseverance, adapting to life in a new country. My grandfather started a successful business, Pritchard Electric Company, which my grandmother and my mother, respectively, took over after his death. We're a courageous, determined lot willing to learn what it takes to succeed. And do it.
Why does all this history matter? I believe that every person has a unique tapestry of experience and history that contributes to their individual experience as a leader, team member, and employee. The explorers, creators, entrepreneurs, and life students in my family history resonate with who I am today. Recognizing, acknowledging, and appreciating what we—and others—bring to the table is key to leadership.