Septic and grease pumper Shon Steele has some advice for old-school liquid waste haulers who want their children to keep the business in the family for another generation: Be open-minded and listen thoughtfully to your son’s or daughter’s strategies for modernizing operations. And remember that in all likelihood, it wasn’t long ago that your father was the one resisting your newfangled ideas.

“I remember my dad and I butted heads when I was younger, so I know what it feels like to be on the other end,” says Shon, who along with his wife, Connie, owns G & C Septic Tank Service Inc. in Galt, Calif., about 25 miles south of Sacramento. Their son, Cory, is the company’s sales and marketing director – and chief change provocateur.

“Sometime I still lock up and say, ‘No, this is how we do it,’” Shon admits. “But having been on the receiving end, I try to back off and really hear what Cory is saying and be a little more open-minded – don’t let my stubbornness get in the way.”

Judging by the company’s website ( and Internet presence on other social media sites, Shon practices what he preaches.

Video shot by Lezlie Sterling.