Doing business with Dad

Dad does get the job done, whether he's the boss, employee or co-worker, according to the sons and daughters who work along side their fathers in South Florida.

Regardless of his role on the job, a snapshot of businesses where Dad and the kids work together shows that the ties that bind family together can also strengthen a business.

For one local company, working with dad is the family legacy. Frank Denison founded Broward Marine around 1948. Subsequently, his sons joined the company, expanding on their experiences and developing new divisions and companies. Christopher "Kit" Denison, the oldest son, joined in 1971, and with his own son, Bob, now owns Denison Yacht Sales, while Kit serves as broker and Superyacht consultant.

The connection is a powerful one, more than just books and ledgers, says Bob Denison. His dad is his role model, he says.

For Jessica Fischer, of Zoom Room in Coconut Creek, working with her dad, Lee Fischer, created the career success she was craving. She was faltering in a traditional corporate setting, she said.

So Fischer turned to her dad, already a business owner, for advice. She got more than that, says Fischer. Her dad is her business partner and her teacher, she says.


Hotpie Inc., 1821 SW 31st Ave., Hallandale; manufacturer of Jamaican patties

Dad: Dennis Chung, chief executive officer

Sons: Mark Chung, 42, president; Paul Chung, 45, vice president

"There is so much you can learn from my father if you listen. There are so many years of hard-earned experience that you can extract from him if you ask. He sets an example for us to follow whether it is hard work or how we are to treat our employees." — Mark Chung

"Dad loves that we [Mark and Paul] are in the business now. Within the business he is a visionary, a technician, an inventor and a mentor to us. Mixing our technology with his old-school smarts makes our business stronger than it ever was. We love you, Dad!" — Paul Chung

Zoom Room Coconut Creek, 6550 N. State Road 7, Coconut Creek, indoor training facility for dogs in obedience, agility, tricks, therapy dog and urban herding; an events venue for dog birthday parties and private rentals. 

Dad: Lee Fischer, owner

Daughter: Jessica Fischer, manager

"He has taught me how to run a business. It is great to have someone help me along the way and answer any of my questions. Before Zoom Room I worked in hospitality, and often when you made a mistake you're reprimanded or punished. Working with my Dad, I have someone who will show me why I made that mistake and give me the knowledge to fix it. It is great to work in an environment when you know you're supported in every decision you make. Without his help and guidance, the experience of running a successful business wouldn't be possible." — Jessica Fischer


Specialty Automotive Treatments, 700 West Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; offers customized aftermarket products to create specialized enhancements for automobiles and boats. Products range from custom interiors, custom car and marine audio/video, wheels and tires, grilles, body kits, moon roofs and custom exteriors.

Dad: Rafael Jorge, founder, chief executive officer

Children: Son, Ralph Jorge Jr., 29, general manager; Daughter, Cristina Jorge, 26, general sales manager