Alan Kantor, 69, has five children and five grandchildren. His three youngest children, ages 6 months to 8 years, are benefiting from his experience raising the older children, Stephan, 40, and Evan, 36, as well as his time as a Jewish Big Brother.
“I am involved with my wife and kids, and other things are less important,” says Alan.
Alan and his first wife, Roz, moved to the West Coast in 1981 when the computer firm where he worked transferred him from New York to Los Angeles. He later started his own business. Alan was active at Temple Ramatzion in North Ridge, CA, for 25 years; when his two older sons were in high school, he asked them if they would mind if he became a Jewish Big Brother through the Milliken Center.
Through the years, Alan says he’s had many financial ups and downs and has made a vital discovery: “Money isn’t everything – I am living proof of that. My happiest time of life is right now.”
When raising his first two children, the demands of a high-pressure job and running his own company took a lot of his time. Now, Alan says that he has discovered how wonderful it is to have the time to be with his children – Robert, Liam and Neal.
He says he has learned from the mistakes he made with his first family of committing so much of his time to work.
“I am home; I am able to attend meetings with teachers,” he says of parenthood the second time around. “The downside is I’m much older. It’s hard to get up from the floor. Physically I can’t do some things.”
Being a Jewish Big Brother to two boys over about 20 years also contributed to his enjoyment and skill as a father now. He still keeps in touch with one of his “little brothers,” who is a father of two and a professional chef. “It’s nice to see him maturing and growing up,” says Alan. “I had a positive impact.”
“It gave me more patience the second time around,” he says of the experience. “It made me appreciate my kids more.”
Alan and his second wife, Augusta, moved to Portland in 2008, when he was hired as director of sales for the Hoffman Group, which is well known in the automobile restoration world as a supplier of parts and accessories. The company has since shifted its focus and Alan hopes to find another sales position. He says he has passion for selling, but he wants to have the freedom to focus on his second family. The family is considering a move to Bend because Robert, 8, has been offered a spot on the Mount Bachelor Ski Education Foundation Ski Team. Since Augusta works out of the home designing women’s shoes as director of design for HH Brown’s shoe division, she’s not tied down to Portland.
But they do want to stay in Oregon, where they love the outdoor lifestyle.
“We spend most of our days outside doing things,” says Alan.