Judy Lynch's eyes twinkle as she recalls September 1, 2010, the day her husband, Barry, first went to work for himself in their spare bedroom.
With no clients yet for what was to become Waypoint Advisory Services, that first day of work wasn't terribly productive.
"I just sat there and sharpened my pencils," he grins.
Judy had wanted to prepare a celebratory dinner for Barry. "I'd committed to the new budget, so made a nice clean meal of grilled fish, asparagus and vegetables to celebrate his first day," she says, explaining that the meal probably cost about $12.
But when asking about her husband's first day, his reaction was not what she had expected. "He said, "Well, we're $12 in the red... and we're not eating fresh asparagus every day!"
Waypoint has come a long way since then. Barry serves as co-founder and CEO, CPA Greg Schmidt is co-founder and president, and it's been a very long time since the company was in the red.
A 2012 winner of the Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge, the company, which offers credit union examination and consulting for federally insured credit unions, now has a second office in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, eight employees, and as of this writing, works with 104 credit unions. According to Barry, they are on track to hit $1M in revenue.
The Lynch's are also co-founders of the Tri to Make a Difference Triathlon, which has been held annually in Amarillo since 2005. Since its inception, the triathlon has raised over $1M for Children's Miracle Network (CMN), and helped fund a remodel of the pediatric wing of Baptist St. Anthony's hospital, where their severely disabled son Thomas came into the world.
In addition, Judy is championing a project with CMN to fund a new children's hospital in Amarillo. And if that wasn't enough, along with serving as an Admissions Advisor for the Denver Seminary West Texas, she also runs Barrett T. Lynch, LLC, which provides bookkeeping for select clients, an unusual occupation for an artist with degrees in psychology and Latin who "hates math"... but one at which she excels.
"It's a good fit for me because our son does require 24-hour care," she says. "So, it's good for me to be able to do some bookkeeping and bring in a little bit of income just from home; that's something I can do on weekends or evenings."
Just how does such a high-functioning couple strike a balance between "work" and "life" while keeping multiple businesses going, caring for their adored son Thomas (not expected to live past the age of 2, he is now a pre-teen), and giving back to the community they grew up in?
In a word: Amarillo.
Barry recalls passing up a tremendous career opportunity in 2002, which would have entailed a move to Chicago. "I was pretty much born and raised here, and had a lot of friends and a lot of support, a great church family ... I just couldn't make myself leave. I felt almost like a failure for not being willing to make that leap; it haunted me."
But making the decision to stick close to home three years before Thomas was born was the right one.
"Had we gone to Chicago and had Thomas been born under the same circumstances, we would have been in a world of hurt," says Barry. "We would not have had the support we needed, and I would have had to quit my job and probably move back home for that support."
Adds Judy, "I didn't cook for three months. We had a meal at our door every day, and someone mowed our yard... we still don't even know who. And people would come to clean our house... our community was our safety net."
It is the same spirit of community and giving back so unique to Amarillo that guides the couple's philosophy of life and balance, which Judy defines more as constantly managing a state of flux.
"It's choosing to be involved with what you want to be involved in. It's choosing what you feel is worthwhile and fruitful, and figuring out how to live the rest of your life around that.
"We work to live; we don't live to work," she says, citing one of her father-in-law's favorite sayings.
And it is Amarillo that helped the couple through their darkest hours, particularly in the early days and years following Thomas' birth. As Barry says, the divorce rate among parents of special needs children is about 80 percent, a statistic the couple is keenly aware of.
"Your community really does matter," says Judy. "Our families and friends wouldn't tolerate us growing apart. They know if we're off balance. And they help us figure out what we need to do to change that ... and they hold us accountable."