On July 10th at 12:02am, the world lost one of the great ones. His name was Melvin Zimmermann, the father of Diane Barron, father-in-law of Joe Barron, and the grandfather of Julie and Scott Barron. He was 98 years young. He is the man that created the logo that is so boldly displayed on the back wall of the gym, the wall of the swimming pools, our buildings, and any material given out by Barron Gymnastics and Barron Swim School. As a successful artist, his legacy lives on through his artwork, but more importantly, his teachings are woven into the culture and foundation of Barron. Family was everything to him. The Barron family carries the love and passion that we learned from him into our businesses practices, the way that we treat our staff, and the safe and positive environment that we offer our students/athletes. Below are some pieces of advice from Grandpa “Z” that have been rooted at Barron.
“Do One Good Deed a Day Expecting Nothing in Return”
In today’s world, it is easy to expect an immediate outcome to our actions. Everything is right at our fingertips – we can order food by just clicking an app, get in touch with someone on their cell phone at any time, or receive bonus points on a video game that just keeps us engaged. At Barron, each and every employee watches a video called “Silver Boxes” upon being hired. It is all about being kind and creating waves of care through your words and actions. The reward is not a material thing, rather it is the way you feel after making a lasting, positive impact. Each day that the owners, our leaders, and our staff walk through those doors, we have a purpose and a mission. The goal is to make it more than just a job; it is a lifestyle that will leave a lasting impression on the children that we teach. One should do a good deed because it is the right thing to do. The expected return is a big smile, a belly full of laughter and the joy of watching a child reach their goals.
“Keep Your Shutter Open”
One of Mel’s grandson-in-laws is a photographer, and he is a great one; a true artist like Grandpa “Z”. His last words to him were “keep your shutter open”. Simply, he was telling him to always capture the beauty around him. Many times, we get caught up in what the future has in store, and we forget the amazing moments that are right smack in front of us. This type of beauty is so easily found in the classes that we offer our youngest students. Finding awe in seeing them walk down the beam or back float for the first time is so important. Watching a child reach their full potential individually is a truly beautiful thing. At Barron, we strive to dig deeper than the sport. We want to make sure we are focusing on building skills that go beyond gymnastics and swim – confidence, character, and social skills. The moments where these qualities are built may be so small, but once added together, they create the foundation for the way a child feels about themselves. No matter where you are or what you do in life, “keep your shutter open”. Be open to seeing those little, magical moments. The small stuff can become the big stuff in the blink of an eye or the “clicking of a shutter”.
“You Stink Just Like Everyone Else”
This one always makes us laugh. He was a firecracker. While it is a funny saying, it is so true. Nobody is better than someone else. Be humble. Give people a chance. Let individuals rise to the occasion. Be slow to judge, yet quick to help. At Barron, one of the core values is “stronger together”. We are the sum of everyone’s strengths. Where one person may have a weakness, there is someone right beside them to lift them up. We certainly are better together, and we work to pass this on to our students.
“Put in the Time, Show Up, Take the Darn Test… and Be Confident”
If you work hard, failure is not an option. You take the risk based on the efforts that you put in, and you are confident because you put in the time to get to the end result. This mentality was ingrained in Diane Barron when she started Barron Gymnastics in 1978. The risk was great, but her work ethic was greater. Fast forward to 2017. The Barron family knew that opening the swim school was a risk, but we were going to work hard to provide the best service and environment for both our customers and our staff. Once again, the same approach was taken in opening our second swim location in 2022. These businesses were built on passion, a love for kids, and on making sure that each child that walks through our doors is having a great experience. If you are going to do something, show up and do it right. Our owners, leaders and staff are confident in what we do because we care, and we stand by our mission. This same mentality is taught to the kids that we teach. Yes, you may not get the skill right away, but if you “put in the time and show up”, the only option is to succeed. Be confident, work hard, and you will meet your goals.
“Family is Everything”
When it came to family, Mel was all in. It didn’t matter if you were blood, he embraced each individual, listened intently and was a constant for so many people. He was affectionately known as “Grandpa Z” to hundreds of individuals. He preached that you are in control of the environment you create and the individuals that you surround yourself with each day. At Barron, we know that you choose to trust us with your child. You control where your child takes gymnastics or swimming; we control how we teach your child and what we teach them. Our goal is to make our students and customers feel safe, heard and welcome when you enter our doors because we are in control and have the responsibility to provide a positive place for all who enter. At Barron, you are family.
Forever with Us
To the man behind the logo, we will cherish our time with you forever. We will show up, we will work hard, and we will carry your love with us. Each time we look at the logo, may it be a reminder of what you have taught us. “Fair winds and following seas, shipmate. We have the watch.” We love you forever, Grandpa “Z”.