Nearly a year ago, life rose up like an angry sidewalk and smacked Brandon Hebert hard. He had to get on with life without his business partner, one of his closest friends and one of his most trusted advisers. His father had died unexpectedly.
Being a father himself, Hebert didn’t have the luxury of self-pity. He had to grieve and step into the role he’d been preparing for over the previous 15 years. Demaree’s pumping service was at a cusp. “We didn’t talk about it,” he said. “It was just going to happen when it happened. Then my dad passed away and I had a decision to make. I could close the business down or I could take it over and keep going with it. I had no doubts. I took it over and now it’s been almost a year and things are going good.”
Hebert’s parents had encouraged him to be his own person, growing up.
“My parents wanted me to do my own thing,” he said. “I was going to school in Las Cruces to study land management when I learned that my dad was going in for emergency surgery and that they’d have to close the business. I came back and said ‘how can I help?’ They said they didn’t want to interrupt my school. I said, ‘I can always go back to school. Right now let’s get this taken care of.’ I took over running the business so my dad could have that surgery.”
After a successful surgery and recovery Hebert’s father had one more thing he wanted to do before taking the reins of the business again.
“He wanted to build them a house,” Hebert said, “so I continued to work. When he had recovered from his surgery, had built the house and was ready to start working again, the business had tripled in size and it was no longer a one-man job. There needed to be two people.”
With the changes in the business, it was time to reconsider his dreams.
“My mom asked me if I was interested in being a part of the business,” he said. “By that time I’d been doing it for five years. I’d gotten pretty comfortable with it. I made my own hours. I do a lot of driving, I love driving.”
Hebert settled in for a comfortable life in what had become the family business. He married the love of his life, Kristin, and they’ve now got a son and a daughter. Life began to look different for him.
“Becoming a father, a lot of my selfishness disappeared,” Hebert said. “I realized that I was responsible for more than just myself. I had this little person that completely relied upon me and I grew up real fast. Priorities changed. Mentalities changed. No more ‘Ooh I want this truck. I want to go here, I want to do that.’ At that time everything was focused on my daughter, now it’s her and my son.”
Hebert now works to be the man, businessman and father he aspires to be.
“To this day I’ve given up a lot of my personal wants and needs,” he said. “I think every parent does that. You realize that raising your kids is much more important than the things you have, the things you want. You live for them. I really do. I live for my kids. I want to raise them right. I want them to give them the best life they can possibly have. I want to teach them right from wrong and the only way I can do that is to focus on them and give up a little bit of my selfish wants and needs. Having kids taught me that there are other people in the world that need me.”
Hebert wants to model good citizenship practices for his children.
“I’ve been working with the Roswell Homeless Coalition and Cooking For Unity for the last year and a half,” he said. “Just recently, I was voted onto the coalition board. I want to help bring awareness to the issue of homelessness. There are people that need and want the help. There is somewhere they can get that help, but we need the community’s help to keep the doors open. It is a community issue so the community has to be the one to help.”
Part of that modeling includes his love of sports. Hebert’s company is one of the biggest sponsors of Roswell Roller Derby.
“Jeneva got us to go to an exhibition,” he said. “The kids loved it. I was thinking, ‘This is Roller Derby in Roswell, New Mexico, how hard can they go?’ It was unbelievable. They went all out. It was fast and it was hard. It was something I had no idea about and now have a ton of respect for. They’re athletes. They’re setting an example about what a strong, confident woman can accomplish.”
Everything Hebert does always comes back to the most important thing in his life.
“I enjoy spending time with my family,” he said. “When I’m not working, that’s first and foremost. Anything with them, then that’s where you can add in the hobbies.”
It would seem that he had been better prepared for last year’s shock than he had realized.