Family is forever, and although you can’t choose your family, you can choose your family business. Will it last a lifetime? Ask Ron Stokes, OSU basketball great of the early ‘80s, that question as he started his family business nearly 22 years ago, and they’re still together and still going strong!
Needless to say, family businesses often carry a connotation of being difficult to manage because of birth order, presumed favorites and heightened emotions. This is not the case for Three Leaf Productions and LARS Properties where Ron is the 100% owner of Three Leaf Productions while his wife, Lavita, is majority owner and President of LARS Properties. Establishing a family legacy is very important to them both and the reason their four children Laurel, Amber, Ron Jr., and Sydney are also minority owners in LARS along with being involved with the day to day operations at both companies. Ron and Lavita have become experts at family management first with business management a very close second.
Ron is no stranger to busy schedules intertwined with family commitments. Raising four children while balancing two businesses and working with Radiohio’s 97.1TheFan where he adds his expert analysis to the Ohio State Basketball radio play-by-plays, requires patience, organization and team players. Ron’s teams are made up of not only Stokes family members, but also associates who have been with him for years – almost all of them with five years or more invested. The Stokes family has obviously earned the respect of their employees, but their customers as well, evidenced by relationships that also date back years.
Excellent customer service has been the key to their success, promoting customer retention and providing a guiding principle for their business model. Lavita described their mantra clearly, “You get what you give.” When the customer is well taken care of, the result is a partnership with profound and lasting loyalty – Ron’s customers have complete confidence that their needs will be met.
Just like his own customers put their trust in Ron’s hands, he has complete confidence that his banking needs will be met at Heartland Bank. As customers of Heartland for over five years, Three Leaf Productions and LARS Properties bank on the personal relationship and committed partnership they experience with Heartland Bank. Coming over to Heartland wasn’t a random choice or marketing response on Ron’s part.
Ron met Scott McComb, Chairman and CEO of Heartland Bank, at a Calcutta golf tournament at a local country club. Ron was put on Scott’s team – he very willingly conceded that he was the “D” player and Scott was the “A” player. Therefore, Ron was along for the ride, taking in the atmosphere of the tournament and getting to know his teammates. The vibrant personality of the team leader intrigued him, and Ron was interested in this new-found banker friend and valued their chance to talk.
Ron is an advocate for in-person communication and one-on-one contact. “With email only, it’s tough to communicate. The eyes say a lot,” shared Ron. After the chance, face-to-face meeting on the golf course with Scott, Ron saw a lot in those banker eyes and was a convert to the Heartland Way – caring about the community, cohesive teams supporting one another, engaged associates to deliver value to clients and the willingness to speak your mind.
Whether you’re a well-known, local personality or a small-town business owner, there’s a place for you at Heartland. Excellent customer service is the goal at Heartland just the same as Three Leaf Productions and LARS Properties. We invite you to visit one of our 16 branches or give us a call today to feel the Heartland Way and experience a true financial partner.
Pictured left to right: Sydney, Laurel, Omari, Ron, Lavita, Amber, Ronnie