Friday, 12 May 2017 10:24

Love of Family

By Megin Potter | News

There can never be too much caring, compassion, and unconditional love. 

Francine Dingeman is the mother of three in a tight-knit Italian family. She is carrying on a strong set of values instilled in her by her own parents.

“My parents were all about la famiglia. They were such great role models in their personas, their spirit, and their character. They told it, and lived it, into their eighties,” she said. 

Francine has lived in the region for 24 years, making an impact both professionally and through her participation in numerous charitable causes. In 2014, she started the event development and marketing firm, Network Saratoga. 

Her children also continue to live and work here. Brandon, 34, is the Senior Product Manager for Wolters Kluwer and owns The Empire Crate, a local food subscription service with his wife Brianne. Erica O’Rourke, 31, is the Leader of Social Radiant, a digital marketing agency specializing in social media. Ashley, 27, is the owner and writer of Saratoga Food Fanatic, which provides food reviews for the community. 

Taking the time to enjoy food and sharing around the dinner table is something that has been bonding the Dingeman family together since the beginning. Through the years, as Francine’s career grew, her children and family have always been her priority, she said. 

“I think I’ve just kept moving forward and adopting that as my orientation, rather than looking back. You know, ‘Just keep swimming’, and prioritizing the family and time with them, that’s what’s been most important,” she said.

“The more I’ve said, ‘Yes’ to, the more I’ve had the capability and strength to envelop,” she added. 

While working as the General Manager at Anastos Media Group, owner and Emmy-award winning newsman Ernie Anastos introduced Francine to a quote by author James Patterson that reminds her how to balance it all.

“Life is like a game where you’re juggling balls. The balls are work, family and integrity. You realize that work is a rubber ball and bounces back if you drop it. The others are glass. They will get scuffed, nicked, or even break, so you really have to hold onto them and be very careful not to let them drop,” she explained. 

The tough times are perhaps when it’s the easiest to drop the ball, but that wasn’t the case for the Dingeman family. When Francine’s parents, who’d been married for 62 years, and lived just down the street, died just five months apart, it was difficult. 

“It was a double-whammy for me and my kids. We spent it supporting each other, being together, and rekindling happy memories. In a very important way, we gave each other strength,” she said. 

The everyday moments stand out as special in Francine’s memory, as well; sharing Chinese food with Ashley after ballet practice, going to visit colleges with Erica, watching Brandon with his one-year-old son, Charley Harper. 

Feeling fortunate, proud, and thankful for her children, Francine is also grateful to the people surrounding her that have helped to reinforce values of kindness, acceptance and encouragement.

Mother’s Day this year will likely include dinner and time relaxing with her family, said Francine. 

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