Jason Rowley was one of five outstanding Valley dads to be honored by the Phoenix chapters of the American Diabetes Association and the Father’s Day Council as 2011 Fathers of the Year at an awards dinner and celebration Thursday night.
These prominent Phoenix businessmen were chosen on the basis of their demonstration of responsible parenting, exemplary ability to balance family and work life and strong commitment to serving the community.
Jason Rowley, senior vice president of the Phoenix Suns
Jason Rowley, father of two young girls, had no personal ties to diabetes until he learned that an uncle on his wife’s side of the family was recently diagnosed and has had to make “significant lifestyle changes.”
He considers himself fortunate to have been selected as one of this year’s Fathers of the Year, but notes that he is not unique in his steadfast dedication to responsible fatherhood.
“It’s a funny thing, because I can show you 50 guys I know who are wonderful fathers, who do a tremendous job balancing their work life and their family life, who are doing all of the same things that I do to make sure their kids know that they’re loved and important and your highest priority in life,” he says.
When he’s not at work, Rowley likes to spend time with his family outdoors.
“Most of my job is spent indoors, so I have time on the weekend to be able to take them out and to show them [the outdoors]…. They live here in the city, and I like to expose them to some of the rural settings and the great outdoors so that they’ll develop an appreciation for that.”
Working for the Phoenix Suns, Rowley says he can even spend some time with his girls while he is at work. He and his wife try to bring the girls to as many home games as they can.
Although his daughters are still very young (one is 5, the other just 18 months old), Rowley is already thinking about how to foster their involvement in community service.
“As I reflect on it, it’s a nice thing to have the award early on, because it kind of reiterates or makes the point that you really need to try your best as a parent and make sure your kids are learning the things they need to learn to be responsible citizens and grow up in a manner that you’ll be proud of and that they’ll be proud of themselves,” Rowley says. “I think it’s important that they recognize that there are other families and kids out there who are not quite as fortunate, and that they need to help out as much as they can.”
The family often goes up north to Sedona to celebrate Father’s Day, but will likely stay in town this year. Rowley says his wife, a whiz with crafts, always helps the girls make him something he can hang in his office to remind him of the family throughout the day. — Sadie Smeck