Sliding into Home: A Sports Family with a Busy Schedule
A Chippewa Falls family finds a keen balance between a new business, bonfires in the backyard, and the ball diamond
Kids: Will (14), Rachel (12), Megan (9), and Katelyn (6)
Lafayette, Chippewa Falls
Joel, a father of four, youth baseball and softball coach, and small business owner, has been an active member of the Chippewa Valley his entire life. He attended the Chippewa Area Catholic Schools in grade school and graduated from Chi-Hi (Chippewa Falls Senior High School) in 1994. Jacobson completed his degree in marketing from Chippewa Valley Technical College in 1996 and then worked for Gordy’s Markets for 24 years in various roles, from stocker to store manager to a director-level position. This year, Jacobson is taking on a new venture and most recently purchased two hardware stores located in Chippewa Falls. Having a sincere passion for community advocacy, Jacobson is looking forward to continuing to support of all the great happenings in Chippewa Falls as a business owner, from community events to employing the people who live there. Here he talks about his love for the Chippewa Valley, his history with the community, his passion for sports and family, and how he strives for a work-life balance as a new business owner.
We love the Chippewa Valley because it is a beautiful area with the lakes, woods, and fields coupled with city life. Not to mention it is a safe community for the kids and for doing business.
I couldn’t live without my kids’ baseball and softball games. Katelyn is in T-ball, Megan is in Modified Softball, and Rachel is in Juniors. Will is already in Babe Ruth and is about to play high school ball, so we have the full range of skill sets and learning. It is amazing and rewarding to watch the transformation not only as players, but as kids growing up, learning about teamwork, camaraderie, and being good sports and competitors. It also goes beyond my kids with the many relationships we have made with other families and kids who have become good friends. In fact, some of them are going to work with us at the hardware stores as employees, and I could not be prouder to employ these kids with great character.
I make sure to never miss a baseball or softball game of my kids. I started coaching my son when he was 4 playing in the Lafayette Youth Baseball League. We eventually moved to the Hallie Baseball League where I played as a boy. I now coach three of them directly and help out on the other’s team when needed. Watching them grow, along with the lessons they learn and the relationships they have made with their teammates and other coaches, has helped me become a better coach and father. It has also helped them be better kids, both on and off the field.
My favorite place to take the kids is our own backyard. We have a fire on the rare summer night that we are home away from the ball field. It’s a great place to recharge and watch the kids swim.
I never leave the house without my computer ... sad, but true. Balance is the hardest thing for me to achieve right now. I know it will come with time, but I try to enjoy every minute I can watching, listening, and laughing with the kids; taking in moments with ones we love.
Our typical weekend is spent at a sporting event of some type. In the winter you can find us at a basketball tournament, in the summer we live on the baseball and softball diamonds, and in the fall we are consumed by volleyball.