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So glad you are here!
 

This is always an interesting exercise and I find it very illuminating as to how people describe themselves – it says a lot about their values. My name is John Christopher O’Shea and I live in Fort Worth, Texas. I am a child of God and I am your brother. I am a son of Dr. John Thomas O’Shea (deceased) who was the first of his family born in the United States (his parents immigrated legally) and Nancy O’Shea, my sainted mother who felt that her kids’ education was so important to her, she founded the Oakridge School in Arlington, Texas where I graduated. I am a brother, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a partner, and a friend. I’ll expand on all of those over the course of this journey, and don’t mean to diminish any one of those important elements with this brevity.

 

I am a proud patriot so eternally grateful to be born in the greatest nation in the history of the world – a country born of divine providence based on a then radical idea that men and women were born with inalienable, sovereign rights imbued from God and not granted from a king or government. I owe this country so much, because I would not be who I am today without the wisdom, hard work, and sacrifice of those who came before me.

I also am a boot wearing, gun owning Texan. I highlight this because those of you from Texas or who know someone from Texas know we roll a little differently. Maybe that’s because we were the only state that was its own independent country. Maybe it’s because “everything is bigger in Texas.” All I know is that it is part of my identity and clearly also influenced who I am.

 

I was an accidental banker. I found myself good at college and ended up with two undergraduate degrees and a master’s in finance and management, yet without any sort of calling. I figured anything I wanted to do in finance necessitated a formal credit training program and that banking was a good place to obtain it. Much to my chagrin and through some twist of fate, I ended up being made a lender in six short months (normal credit training is two to three years), and over the course of the next twenty years I was the president of a bank, started a bank, and then led the turnaround of a troubled bank. It was when I tried to buy a bank and ran into a brick wall dealing with the regulators who pocket vetoed the sale that I finally decided I had had enough of government bureaucrats and senseless regulations.

 

I was an ex-pat. I had the good fortune in life to meet my soulmate shortly after finishing grad school and after a whirlwind romance, we were married 18 months later. We had an unbelievable 18 years of marriage (well maybe the first two were a tad rocky primarily due to me needing to grow up a bit more) with two beautiful kids when we got the devastating news that she had stage iv brain cancer. Nine months later and numerous surgeries and rounds of proton radiation, she was declared cancer-free, but the cure was at a terrible price. She now has significant physical, mental, and emotional deficits and I had to decide if I was going to continue working to pay for other people to care for my wife and kids. I ultimately felt it was more fitting for me to do it myself and thinking we needed to shake the ghosts of our former lives, I moved the family to South America where I could afford to care for my wife personally with help and give my kids an education that transcended school books by exploring another continent and different cultures. While I loved my time there and what it afforded me, I think everyone should live abroad for at least two years to understand how grateful you should be for being privileged to be an American.

 

I am a small business owner and real estate developer. The kids were ready to head back to the States to start college and my wife was ready to move back closer to family and friends. So a little over two years ago, I moved back and was delighted to have my old partners tell me that I still had a seat at the table, and in fact was needed. In that short period of time, we have purchased a quarry, two concrete companies, and over 700 acres of land to develop. We currently have combined 100 employees. While I take pride in showing my kids the cement mixers and the excavators and the homes being constructed, I take even more pride in my relationship with my partners and the excellent team of people we have assembled. We are like one big family. I was so touched when just yesterday one of my partners and best friends in the world showed me a text he had received from a bright young man we were grooming for management. He was thanking us for providing him a job such that he was going to be the first one in his family to buy a home. I am proud of that.

 

And lastly, I am verbose as you have already ascertained if you’ve made it this far. I could have just left it at the descriptors, but I think this provides a little more reflection as to the content of my character.