Heartland Investment Partners - September 2019





HOW MY WIFE HELPED ME AND MY BUSINESS THROUGH HARD TIMES MY RIGHT-HAND WOMAN At the end of August, my wife Gina and I sent our son off to football camp. Without 20-year-old Isaiah knocking around the house, we were suddenly empty nesters again, and spending so much time together has reminded me how much Gina has done for me as a partner. We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary this summer, but it seems like just yesterday I was calling her up in the eighth grade to ask her to the movies. (She told me, “Absolutely not!” before slamming down the phone.) From the beginning, Gina has been terrific, fantastic, and unbelievably supportive of what I’m doing at Heartland Investment Partners. Even in the early days when I was still asking myself what the hell I was doing and wondering whether this real estate thing was really going to work, she was working full time as a social worker to support my dream. We’d just bought our first house, and then we had a baby, and then another, and then another. It was a stressful time, and Gina was my rock through it all, taking care of the kids and running the house so I could focus on my business. Before all of that started, though, Gina and I were high school sweethearts. After that fumbled eighth-grade phone call (which was hard on my pride, let me tell you) we didn’t connect again until my junior year of high school when we ran into each other at the home of a mutual acquaintance. We chatted for half an hour, then went our separate ways. The next day when I got home from school, my mom told me I had a message — Gina had called. Now, that moment in eighth grade was far in the past, and I assumed Mom meant my cousin Gina, who lived three doors down and often demanded I mow her lawn. So, when Gina picked up, the first words out of my mouth were, “Well, what do you want?” Somehow, I survived that conversation and managed to turn it into a date. Fast-forward 30 years later, and here we are! Gina kept up her career as a social worker for seven or eight years after I quit my job as a prison guard to start Heartland Investment Partners, and she picked the work up again after our kids started school. She now has a part- time position at a care center close to our house. She likes staying involved, and I like seeing her happy. Our kids are all grown up now, too. Madisen, our oldest daughter, is 26 and works for me at Heartland as a property manager;

21-year-old Malory is starting her first year teaching PE and special education here in Cedar Rapids; and Isaiah is off at Upper Iowa University, living in the dorms and playing football.

After pouring our time and energy into raising the three of them and running the business, Gina and I are finally enjoying the fruits of our labor. Of course, I still work hard every day at Heartland, but we love to get away to our lake house in


Okoboji when we can. We spend our time there boating, relaxing on the dock, and riding our bikes on the awesome trails around the lakes. We also enjoy catching a movie or play, listening to a concert, or just strolling through town. Gina, thank you so much for all you’ve done and continue to do. Here’s to many more years of bike riding and apartment buying! –Darin Garman

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