Give—not take—from society.
That’s the message D.J. Ficken, 44, wants his children to understand.
And Ficken, 44, helps convey that poignant message through his efforts as a Team Captain for the Moye Elementary All Pro Dad Chapter. Ficken also serves as Co-Team Captain with Tom Vorce (Team Captain at Laverna Evans) at Cornerstone Christian Church in Shiloh.
Ficken no doubt cherishes the program.
“I’ve seen first-hand how All Pro Dad has effected relationship between fathers and their children,” said Ficken, who has been involved with All Pro Day for five years. “My kids love helping me with the program. They help by volunteering and I feel they are learning/developing skills to give back to the community and making it a better place. As a leadership role, I hope my children are seeing by example how to step up and make a positive impact in the community we live in. Leave it better than they found it…I want my children to understand they are not to take from society but give to it.”
Furthermore, All Pro Dad began in 1997 and the All Pro Dad’s Day school breakfast program has been around over 10 years, since November 2004.
All Pro Dad commenced with NFL Coach Tony Dungy when he was the head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Meanwhile, the All Pro Dad’s Day breakfast program began in Indianapolis when a father’s son passed away in his sleep. This father recruited some friends and together they began having breakfast with their kids so they could celebrate the relationships they had with their children while they had the opportunity.
Overall, there are 1,257 All Pro Dad’s Day chapters in 47 different states. To that end, the All Pro Dad Programs involves asking men to give:
• One minute a day for a daily e-mail with fatherhood/family tips;
• One hour a month for All Pro Dad’s Days, where dads have breakfast with their kids and follow a simple monthly curriculum with videos, discussion questions, games and prizes;
• One day a year when the NFL partners with All Pro Dad to get the dads and kids out on the field with some players for interactive drills and meaningful conversations.
“It’s awesome seeing dads who get what All Pro Dad is about,” Ficken said. “They are taking the opportunity that is being presented to them and stepping up to spend time with their kids. They are making that time available in their schedules and putting their kids first. That says a lot about those dads.”
The All Pro Dad program meets at 8 a.m. the last Saturday of each month at Cornerstone Christian Church, 775 N. Green Mount Road, Shiloh. The meetings are open to all and a $5 Chick-Fil-A breakfast is served. People should RSVP to www.allprodad.com/4368 so enough food can be provided. Ficken and Vorce will lead the chapter.
Professionally, Ficken is President & Owner of FM Exteriors, Inc., in O’Fallon. He loves his line of work.
“Let’s face it, contractors are always the ones who are on the news,” he said. “I chose this industry because I get a chance to help homeowners with their remodeling. Storm damage for example, I see so often homeowners getting misled from dishonest contractors in getting storm damage repairs done to their home. We have a great team at my company and everyone genuinely enjoys helping homeowners. Other areas I offer help with homeowners are quality building products I make available to homeowners that they otherwise would not know anything about. Roofing for example—we make known of a stone coated steel roof as one option when replacing their roof. Yes it’s more expensive, but this roof very well could be the last roof for their home saving them thousands of dollars overall.”
Ficken, born in Belleville, graduated for O’Fallon Township High School. He is a licensed roofing contractor in the state of Illinois and also Certified Aging in Place Specialist (C.A.P.S) certified.
Ficken and his wife Jamie have five children—sons, Jonathon (23), Arjun (17) and Reise (10); and daughters, Shaylee (8) and Zoey (5). They are expecting their fifth child, a daughter, to be born mid-May. And D.J. undoubtedly loves his family time.
“This time in my life it’s about getting our kids involved in extracurricular activities and helping them find who they are and learning the life lessons as they participate in those activities,” Ficken said. “All my kids love the outdoors and love to fish but each one like to do different things. Riese likes football and baseball. Shaylee likes tumbling and softball but recently has a strong desire to start ju-jitsu or aikido. Zoey likes gymnastics and surprised us all by excelling in soccer. This is their time and we are cool with that. It’s fun.”
The family resides in O’Fallon.
Meet D.J. Ficken:
Do you have words you live by?
“Live like no one else so you can give like no one else.”
Whom do you most admire?
“My wife. She’s brought the best out of me. I’ve learned a lot being married to her. I was not proud of who I was prior to her in my life. I had a lot of bad habits but through building our life together, I’ve learned to put others first over myself. I’ll admit, this is still a daily struggle, but what positive change isn’t in life?”
If you could spend time with a famous person—past or present—whom would it be and why?
“Hands down, Jesus.”
What is the last book you read?
“Dave Ramsey, ‘EntreLeader.’”
What do you do for fun and relaxation?
“Hunt, fish, golf and watch my kids in their sports activities.”
What’s the usual state of your desktop?
“Pretty well organized.”
What did you want to do career-wise when you were growing up?
“I have always been curious of ‘business.’” I’m always learning. Not just about how to make money but how consumers choose to spend their hard earned cash. Some do without much thought. Others act like they have very little but have more than they could ever spend in this lifetime. I just find that interesting.”
What type of music do you listen to?
“Jazz, Country, Christian Contemporary, Classic Rock, Classical.”
If you were independently wealthy, what would you be doing?
“Anything I want!”