Daniel “DH” Harrison
Occupation: Brand Manager at Country Boy Brewing
Family: Michiko Harrison, Sachan-6 and Wiley-3
Daniel “DH” Harrison says his own dad is his inspiration to be a super dad to his kids, Sachan and Wiley. “I had the best dad in the world and I just try to be half of the dad he was,” he says. “I want my kids to grow up knowing I am their biggest fan and cheerleader, and that I will support them in anything they choose to do.”
DH, who is the brand manager at Country Boy Brewing, and his wife, Michiko, met in Japan when DH was teaching English. The Harrisons now live in Sadieville, Ky.
“We decided to give our children Japanese first names and English middle names, so when they are older, they can choose which name to go by,” DH says.
The Harrisons love playing and being outside. As DH explained, they live in the woods of Scott County, which offers a lot of adventure.
“Wiley and Sachan love to go fishing, and when the weather is right, we try to fish as much as possible,” he says. “Besides fishing, we love reading books, cooking and just being together.”
DH works a lot, which also means he’s gone a lot. He says it’s hard to balance being a small business owner to a growing company and raising two young kids.
“I try to maintain the balance, but it is a real challenge,” he says. “But the best part of my day is when I get home and I’m greeted by two warm hugs and kids that scream, ‘daddy!’ That makes everything in the world seem just about right.”
Occupation: Broker/Owner of East of Elm (Real Estate) Commercial Photographer
Family: Katie Ring and Carson-11
Shaun Ring, broker/owner of East of Elm Real Estate and commercial photographer, says his biggest inspiration to be a Super Dad is his son’s Super Mom, Katie.
“Katie not only has the difficult job of being a stay-at-home-mom for our son, Carson, but she’s also his homeschool teacher,” Shaun says. “I’ve never seen someone more devoted to being a good parent. I’m not at home with Carson as much as she is, so when he and I are hanging out, I know that each moment carries huge weight.”
Like many dads would agree, Shaun finds his biggest challenge is fitting everything in. While his work is very rewarding, Shaun says he can’t ignore the bigger picture.
“I want Carson to see a dad that keeps things balanced—to see me valuing my relationships with family and friends as much as I value client connections. To see me valuing my own health and mental clarity. I don’t know that I’m nailing it, but I’m doing my best,” he says.
The Rings like to keep it simple when they’re all together by playing games, listening to music, reading books, watching movies or playing with their three dogs, but they always make time to help Carson, who is 11, chase his dreams.
“I envy Carson’s creativity. From the early age of four, Carson has been interested in movie-making. From filming to editing, from script-writing to animation, Carson’s ideas are big,” Shaun says. “He’s been saying for years that he’s going to be ‘bigger than Spielberg’. What I enjoy most about fatherhood is helping Carson make sense of it all. I’m not a movie-maker, but I can help clear a path for him to run toward that dream. Knowing that I’m a part of Carson’s future history is humbling.”
For Shaun, the best part of being a dad is seeing all of life’s phases unfold. He has made it his mission to raise Carson to be a caring, independent and balanced person, a person who unapologetically marches to the beat of his own drum.
Occupation: Chief of Police, Nicholasville Police Department
Family: Jennifer Justice and Ethan-6
Todd Justice, Chief of Police for the Nicholasville Police Department, says that the toughest but most rewarding job is being a dad to his son, Ethan.
“Before having children, you often hear that being a parent is the most difficult yet challenging job you will ever have. It is not until you are actually a parent that you can understand the pure honesty in that statement,” he says.
Todd and his wife, Jennifer, met in high school, and have been together 25 years. The Justices suffered from infertility for 13 years, which was a very painful experience. When the opportunity presented itself to grow their family through adoption, they took it without hesitation. The Justices adopted their son Ethan, who is now six years old.
“Kids of adoption often experience the trauma from loss and feelings of abandonment,” Todd says. “It is my priority to make sure that Ethan feels loved and cared for. Just over a year ago, Ethan was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome. Our biggest challenge is teaching him that being different from his peers is not only okay, but should be celebrated.”
Todd’s mother lives in Lexington and is his only living parent. Often the family will gather together to eat dinner and discuss their days or talk about where to vacation next.
“My small family always makes me feel relaxed and comfortable. We love each other, and enjoy our time together teaching Ethan about life,” Todd says. “When you go through infertility, you experience parenthood differently. You truly learn to appreciate the small things.”
Ethan has taken interest in geography, architecture and traveling, so the Justices like to explore local attractions like the Hummel Planetarium at Eastern Kentucky University and the Newport Aquarium.
It’s important to Todd and Jennifer that Ethan be active, so this past season he played his third year of soccer.
“I coached Ethan’s team and we both really enjoyed it,” Todd says. “Ethan kept telling anyone who would listen that his daddy is his coach, which gave me another source of pride for being his dad.”
Click through the photo slideshow to meet 3 local super dads!