I moved to Florida in 1976, escaping the cold winters of Pennsylvania and seeking a new life in the Sunshine State. The following year, my younger brother asked if he could stay with me and try his luck too. I gladly welcomed him!

My then-boyfriend helped Jeff get a job with him at a saw mill, making cypress fences. Soon Jeff found a roommate and moved out on his own. Ambitious and wanting to save money to start college, he found a part time job at a new sandwich shop in town, Subway Subs.

Seems that store owner Pete DiPasqua liked my brother and offered him a promotion to manager. Jeff asked what we thought. Back then I was of a blue-collar mentality and worried about losing the benefits from the saw mill. My crazy boyfriend told Jeff not to listen to me, to take the Subway manager job. He did. A week later, the saw mill burned down to the ground!

Was that ever good advice! Jeff went on to partner with Peter DiPasqua Jr, and together they began building their empire. He met, fell in love with, and eventually married Lynn, Peter’s younger sister. Today they have three amazing adult children and also welcomed their first grandson into the family last year!

Over the next twenty years, Jeff and Pete continued to open new stores and by the early  90’s, owned 30!

Their company, DiPasqua Enterprises, Inc. , provides jobs to many people throughout Central Florida, with great benefits, including a 401k! Because of the flexible work environment and the benefits they offer to their team, DEI was recently nominated by the Orlando Sentinel as one of the Top 100 Companies in Central Florida for Working Families for the fifth consecutive year!

Last night, I was privileged to attend a wonderful party for the DEI Team, celebrating the opening of their one-hundreth store! I was so proud, standing there and listening to my brother and his partner address his managers, staff and invited guests.

I recalled that conversation we had over thirty years ago, when I told him not to take that manager’s job. I’m so glad he didn’t listen to me.

Posted on: October 9, 2011
Categories: Blog Posts
2 Responses to Don’t Listen to Me!
  1. It is a great success story, Jackie. I’m very proud of my brother. Looking back, I would have allowed fear to influence my suggestions to Jeff, but God works in mysterious ways. Thank goodness that my brother listened to my crazy boyfriend and not me!

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