Sean Minard

When Sean Minard was laid off during bereavement leave, after his twin daughters died, he knew he would never put anything above being a father again.

“There was not a single personal element or acknowledgement of what was going on in my life,” he said of being laid off by financial technology company Affirm.

“After that I said to myself, There is nothing that matters more to me than my family. And I will never put a work call in front of my family, especially my daughter.”

Sean, our Lead Dad of the Week from Portland, Oregon, set out to find a better company to work for but also a way to help other fathers. His dad had been present in his life until he passed away when Sean was 7. He had always dreamt of being a present dad.

When he worked at a marketing company in Utah early in his career, he was impressed by how fathers went home early when their kids needed them. It was the opposite of what he saw at Google, where men seemed to pride themselves on not taking parental leave. “They said, I’ve got to work. Working was part of their identity.”

Today, Sean, whose daughter is 2, works in learning and development at Chewy. When he was interviewing for the job last year, after his twins died, he probed to understand whether the company’s family friendly policies were real.

“A question I ask when I interviewed for jobs is, ‘Are you more interested in time clocked in or impact?’,” he said. “You understand really quickly from their reaction to that question whether they believe in work life integration or not.”

Now thriving at Chewy, he puts one-on-ones on his work calendar with Via, his daughter, so everyone knows what he’s doing. “I treat it like any other meeting,” he said. “I let them know that I’m going to do good work. And I set very clear boundaries with my family.”

And it’s respected: When both his wife and daughter were sick before a big presentation, he knew his team was behind him. He got on the call as scheduled – and pushed the presentation back a week. “I had to make it a priority – and everyone understood.”

Your corporate example should be imitated, Sean. Welcome to The Company of Dads!