McKinstry’s Brian Ratcliff on Celebrating Father’s Day

What is your role at McKinstry?

I am the vice president of the South region of Energy and Technical services. I have been in this role since November of 2020 after careers at rival ESCOs. The South region is rapidly growing and we have an amazing group of people with a top-notch culture, so it is a fun place to be.

Tell us about your family.

I am happily married (24 years) to my best friend Ginger, with four amazing daughters, three of which are at my alma-mater,Texas A&M (Hannah, Molly and Emma Kate), and the youngest (Reese) is going to be a freshman in High School this fall. It is crazy how different four kids growing up with the same parents in the same environment can be! Hannah is intellectual, Molly is deep and relational, Emma Kate is bubbly and the class clown and Reese is the athletic, driven one (like her mom). Our family is very close, and we spend a lot of time together playing games, going on trips and watching movies. Now that my oldest girls are at A&M, I get to spend time with them on gamedays in the fall or at their big sorority events, which is a blast. Family is #1 for me and I am grateful that they would all say the same thing.

What is the meaning of Father’s Day to you?

Candidly, I rarely think about Father’s Day for myself; I always think of my own father. I am blessed to have been raised by a hardworking honest man of integrity. My dad, Jimmy, worked at a paper mill in the electrical maintenance department for 47 years. It was a grind for him, but he never complained, and he raised me and my three sisters with a strong work ethic and appreciation for our opportunities. Father’s Day to me means reflecting on the blessing and privilege afforded me by having my father and friend present in my life providing security, wisdom and guidance that helped shape me into the man I am today.

Who is a fatherly figure in your life that helped shape you?

Other than my father, I am honored to have been mentored by a man named Tom O’Dwyer, a wise and kind businessman that spent every Friday morning with me for about 10 years straight. My dad was a working man, thus limiting how much he could advise me on business pursuits, risk and strategy. Tom not only helped me think through some pretty tough problems, but he also loved me like a son and treated me like one. He wasn’t afraid to hold me accountable and provide critical feedback that I didn’t get anywhere else. I owe Tom a tremendous amount of credit for shaping me as a business professional.

What do you hope to pass on to the next generation through your example and work?

I have discovered over time that my mission or purpose in life is to help grow and shape people into the best version of who they can become. I would love to pass that mission on to my kids and to the people that work with me. I haven’t always lived with that mission; for much of my life I was self-centered and full of “blind spots” that held me back. Through instrumental figures like my father and Tom O’Dwyer and through the experience of fumbling through fatherhood myself, I have been exposed to a better version of who I could be and that is what I pursue. The mission is hard but rewarding; not everyone has a growth mindset and wants to know about their blind spots. But for those that do, when the lights come on and you get to see them develop, it’s more satisfying than any individual achievement.

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