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Like Father-Like Daughter, Family Bond Extends into Workplace for Deer Valley Engineers

Like Father-Like Daughter, Family Bond Extends into Workplace for Deer Valley Engineers

As a child, Heather Naboshek, Engineering Manager in Advanced Technology, looked forward to Honeywell’s Take Your Child to Work Day every year. She got excited about visiting the cafeteria at the Phoenix Sky Harbor facility, seeing her dad’s workspace and getting to explore Honeywell’s innovative labs. Never did she imagine she would be working side-by-side with her father after she graduated from the University of Arizona with an engineering degree.

“From the time I was very young, I knew my dad worked at Honeywell,” Heather said. “I thought it was a wonderful place to work because all my experiences included water parks and picnics and other family-friendly events. Plus, all our neighbors worked at Honeywell, so we had a big community of people in our lives who worked at the company. Honeywell was like an extended family to me.”

For J.R. Johnson, Senior Program Manager in the Retrofits, Modifications and Upgrades (RMU) organization, learning his daughter planned to follow in his career footsteps was extremely meaningful. J.R. joined Honeywell in 1993 and worked in several business areas including industrial automation as well as international sales.

“I knew Heather would be an invaluable addition to the Honeywell team and we would be lucky to have her,” J.R. said proudly. “When she was younger, she ran an ice cream shop and really knew how to manage people. Plus, she was incredible in math, so engineering management was a great fit for her skill set. Not only is she an excellent engineer and can speak the engineers’ language, but she also has business acumen that will really lead the company in a positive direction for years to come.”

According to Heather and J.R., working together has far more pros than cons. From spending 40 hours a week together and sharing career advice to talking shop on the weekends, being part of Honeywell has deepened their already close connection.

“We’ve had a great relationship my whole life and working together has only enhanced that,” said Heather. “My father is a remarkable mentor – both in life and at work. He is generous with his advice and his time. Anything I need, personally or professionally, he’s there for me. He’s taught me so much, but I think one of the lessons that resonates specifically is the importance of a work-life balance, working hard but also prioritizing family life.”

Heather does not underestimate the advantage she had joining a company where her father worked for three decades. She was able to benefit from the strong relationships he cultivated over the years and J.R. was able to facilitate introductions to many people who had a wealth of knowledge to share.

Today, Heather and J.R. sit two rows away from each other at the Phoenix Deer Valley site and while they work on various aspects of the company and haven’t had too many business crossovers, they do interface with many of the same people.

“Some of the business leaders Heather interacts with are also ones I’ve worked with or have known for decades,” said J.R. “Because I know many of these leaders personally, I can give her insight on their personalities, the way they like to work and their career experiences, which benefits everyone involved.”

Now, when Heather brings her kids to Honeywell for a visit not only do they get to see their mom hard at work, but they also see their pap.

“I get some ribbing from my colleagues that Heather has an office that overlooks my cubical, but honestly, I couldn’t be prouder,” J.R. added. “I’m glad she followed in my professional footsteps and that she thought positively about my career, so much so that she wanted to pursue something similar for herself.”

This Father’s Day, Heather and J.R. plan to spend time together like they do every Sunday when they have a regularly scheduled family dinner.

“My poor mother. I am sure it bothers her more than she lets on when we talk about business at the dinner table,” Naboshek laughed. “My dad and I have our own Honeywell language and we can get caught up talking about work or the meetings we have in the week ahead. I think working for the same company is a terrific addition to our already close relationship. We are incredibly lucky to be each other’s biggest cheerleaders at work and in life.” 

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