COMMUNITY LEADERS’ LIFE LESSONS ROOTED IN SCHOOL SPORTS AND ACTIVITIES
Some of the wonderful characteristics of business and community leaders in North Idaho throughout the years include hard work, innovation, honesty, integrity, conservative values, kindness, fiscal responsibility, equal opportunity, personal accountability, love for family, quality education, and support for the community. We have incredible people here, contributing to our region’s economy through all types of organizations, large and small. The family featured here today started their business back in 1929 and has been serving our community ever since. Coeur d’Alene Tractor, owned and operated by the Adams family, has grown from a few employees to 5 locations with 70 employees across the Inland Northwest. It is currently managed by 3rd, 4th and 5th generations of family members, all who were educated in and shaped by our public schools. Today’s story is shared by Matt Adams, General Manager of Coeur d’Alene Tractor.
Growing up in Coeur d’Alene was a pretty magical experience. I won’t say that I took it for granted, but I fully admit that I wasn’t aware of how fortunate our lives were until years later while reflecting on our childhood, the friendships we made, the experiences we had, the education and activities that were offered, and the natural beauty that surrounded us.
My dad, John Adams, also grew up in Coeur d’Alene. He is a true testament to how this community and its people can positively shape a person. He played basketball and football for CDA High School and then went on the play basketball for North Idaho College. He was the ASB President of both CHS and NIC. After graduating from NIC he went on to complete his degree at Montana State University and then proceeded to commit 5 years of his life serving in the U.S. Navy. In 1967 he returned to CDA to join the family business (CDA Tractor) and be closer to his family.
Not to dissimilar from our father, my brothers and I all had a curiosity to explore the world outside of our little lake town as well.
First step: Education.
Second Step: Explore.
Third Step: Return and Serve.
Chris and I attended University of Idaho, while Jon Jon attended Whitworth College in Spokane. We eventually found our way to Seattle after achieving our college degrees in Recreation, Psychology, and Business Management, respectively.
Big Brother, Chris, initially established himself in Seattle after working his way up the management ladder at Icicle Seafoods during college summers to become the Vessel Manager of the Discovery Star and its 85 employees. He worked his butt off in the fishing industry for 27 years before considering a move back to Coeur d’Alene with his wife Jennifer and daughter Lucy in 2017 to join the family business.
I moved to Seattle less than a year after graduating from the University of Idaho and quickly worked my way into the high-tech industry. After helping a variety of small startup tech businesses grow and sell to larger tech monsters like Compuserve, Intel, and Getty Images, I was inspired by these entrepreneurial successes and decided to carve my own path in business development. After taking a couple of years to travel the world, I returned to the USA, met my wife Amber, and moved to Portland to help another tech startup grow from $300K to $ 6.5 million per year. We raised 3 children before moving to Coeur d’Alene in 2019 to follow my big brother into the family tractor business.
Are you starting to see a pattern here? Educate, explore, return and serve.
Jon Jon joined us in Seattle and immediately secured a job with the Seattle Thunderbirds professional hockey team before being recruited to the Seattle Supersonics to be their Corporate Sponsorship Manager. His passion for sports and business eventually led to coaching high school basketball while pursuing a career in the medical technology industry. After many years of success helping to grow organizations in Seattle, San Diego and the UK, he moved back to Coeur d’Alene to pursue his dream job of coaching our alma mater’s varsity basketball team in 2020 and now has multiple winning seasons under his belt.
After experiencing life in the big cities and other countries, just like our father, we gained a new appreciation for the small-town values of Coeur d’Alene and followed our hearts back to the place that made us the men we are today.
Yes, we were lucky to have 2 awesome parents and be surrounded by amazing family and friends in the early stages of our lives. However, it was the teachers, coaches, sports and activities that were offered by our public school system that elevated us to learn many important life lessons: competing, working as a team, winning and losing with grace, work ethic, gaining confidence, leadership, finding your passion, expressing one’s self, giving back, and many more immeasurable values to instill in a child at a young age.
We grew up playing sports and now our daughters (Vikings and Timberwolves) are involved in theater and other school activities which teach similar values. I couldn’t imagine a world without these opportunities that continue to positively shape our children’s character with life lessons that contribute to a thriving community. It gave my brothers and me the knowledge and confidence to follow our passions and explore the world. I can only hope that we continue to offer these to our youth and inspire them to have the courage to follow their dreams.
Please vote YES for the supplemental Levy on May 16 and support our children, our community, and our future.
Our community raises LEADERS. It truly takes a village and some of the most important villagers who shape and influence our youth are the teachers, the coaches, the counselors, the advisors in our schools. They are all heroes and deserve so much credit for inspiring and igniting future leaders like Chris Adams, who currently serves on the CHS and NIC Boosters Boards, Matt Adams, who serves on the CDA Regional Chamber Board, our revitalization and business development committees, and Jon Jon Adams, who is the head coach of our CHS Varsity Basketball team.
The Adams family/Coeur d’Alene Tractor has been an active chamber member since 1948. They have supported local 4H programs for decades and currently donate time, money, and equipment to the Children’s Village, the Ronald McDonald House, CHS and NIC Booster Clubs, CHS Softball Team, CHS Basketball Program.
Our mission is truly our members. We are the voice of business and would love to have you join us:
Kootenai County Commissioners Breakfast – Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Best Western Plus Coeur d’Alene Inn, 7 to 9 a.m.
Join us for an update from our Kootenai County commissioners: Bill Brooks, Bruce Mattare, and Leslie Duncan! To sign up, visit cdachamber.com.
Linda Coppess is President and CEO of the Coeur d’Alene Regional Chamber.
Matt Adams is the General Manager, of Coeur d’Alene Tractor and a Board Member of the Coeur d’Alene Regional Chamber.