Earlier this week when giving a shoutout to 10 great NH companies, I referenced the abi Party At Arms event, a major part of Small Business Week here in the city. Despite the rain that has been ripping through the region all week, we had an amazing time as expected. (At the bottom of this post, check out the Q/A I had with Disqus’ founder and keynote Daniel Ha. Follow here so you don’t miss next year’s event. No excuses.)
I wanted to share my letter that was included in a event handout that was also the theme of my address to everyone last night. I hope you take something valuable away from it and enjoy the story it tells.
Welcome NH Startup, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Community:
I was recently kicking around the vast Internet, searching my family’s New Hampshire entrepreneurial roots. The results of my time on Google brought me to eBay, which yielded me a very special find.
Nearly two weeks ago, my father Don celebrated his 40th anniversary at downtown Manchester, NH, staple Indian Head Athletics, a sporting goods store that he and my mother Gail own and operate with pride. Many people don’t realize that Indian Head Athletics was once Indian Shoe Company, which was headquartered in the Millyard and employed hundreds of loyal and dedicated staff in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Many of the Greek community that now call NH home were brought to the U.S. to work in this booming athletic shoe factory.
Back in March, I searched ‘Indian Head Shoe Company’ and got back an astounding 1.98 million results! As you can guess, many were quite irrelevant, but there was one that I couldn’t have been more thrilled to discover. It was a piece of letterhead sold by a collector on eBay for $14.95. I bought it immediately.
Dated May 10th, 1957, it was a letter offering a credit on a purchase, addressed to the U.S. Sporting Goods Company and signed by my late grandfather, Henry W. Spaulding (my mother’s father), President of Indian Head Shoe Company. It was professional, honest, and direct.
In August 2012, my wife Katie and I welcomed our first son, the first York grandson (my parents have five sons) and the first boy to carry the York namesake legacy. But, he is extra special. We named him Henry Lennon York, after my grandfather Henry, a great man. The letter you see above is now framed in our son’s room.
That right there is what this ecosystem is all about — creating a thriving, relevant and growing economy for the next generation. Our impact potential has no bounds. Long after we’re gone, our kids, and their kids will be navigating the world with robust and yet to be created technology to learn about their roots.
The question remains: what type of legacy will we leave and how proud will we make them?
Live Free & Start!
Chairman, abi Innovation Hub | Chief Revenue Officer, Dyn