When Tony Giordano, president of BKD Capital Advisors, LLC, married wife Melissa in 2000, the couple committed to a lifetime of happiness—and a lot of sports activities. As parents of PGA player Mark Hubbard, Tony and Melissa became pros at balancing work and home life to travel along with their son’s tour. And to make parenting a little more challenging and exciting, the love of sports extended throughout the whole family, including sons Nic, Matt, and TJ.
“Since sports were such a big part of our family, we learned a lot about being there for one another,” says Tony.
‘Golf was always at the center of our family’
Tony’s dad Vincent, Melissa, Mark, and Tony.
Since both parents had children from a previous marriage, learning how to function together was a little different compared to other families. Tony and Melissa had the unique challenge of raising a handful of boys spanning 16 years of age while managing multiple parenting schedules, the boys’ activities, and their professional careers. They prioritized family dinners, travel, and any opportunities to have all the kids together at the same time.
As one of six siblings who were all athletes, Tony grew up thinking you were always in a sport, only the change of season determined what sport you were playing. He grew up skiing and playing golf, football, and basketball. Melissa, a Stanford undergrad and full-time corporate securities attorney, took up tennis and golf during college and later became a member of a country club with her first husband Bruce. The couple had Mark, who was about 9 years old when Tony and Melissa began dating. Between all the parents, Mark was always on a golf course.
Tony and Melissa joined Pinehurst Country Club in Denver 21 years ago, where all the boys played junior golf and the couple have won multiple tournaments, including the couples club championship. In no more than five minutes, they could hop in their car and make it to the first tee.
“We could also walk right across the street through our neighbor’s backyard and be on the second green,” he says. “There were so many times throughout our summers that we’d eat our family dinner and then grab some clubs and play a couple of holes. Golf was always at the center of our family.”
From backyard golf to proposals on the 18th green
Mark’s professional career has led to trips to Hawaii, Pebble Beach, New York, Florida, and Los Angeles. In a normal year, Tony attends four or five PGA Tour events and often brings along some friends in the private equity community who follow Mark’s career throughout the year. Before going pro, Melissa took the lead on Mark’s career and development and scheduled tournaments and transportation, while Tony supported him in any way he could, sometimes by playing in father/son tournaments or caddying for him in amateur events.
“Family has played a huge role in my success and development as a golfer,” says Mark. “I have so many great memories with them over the years, including my mom traveling with me to tournaments across the country and my dad Tony caddying for me in the Colorado Open, and all the fun rounds we played together growing up. I wouldn’t have made it to the PGA Tour without them.”
Mark was a multisport star in high school and led the state in 3-point field goals made his senior year, but several concussions playing football forced him to choose golf as his fall sport. He didn’t talk much about playing professionally to his parents, but on one of their early dates as freshmen at San Jose State University, Mark told his date (now wife) Meghan, an elite college swimmer, that he was going to play on the PGA Tour. “I think deep down he always knew what he wanted to do,” says Tony.
The family on Meghan and Mark’s wedding day, 2016.
Melissa, Mark, and Tony at the 2021 Honda Classic.
In 2015, Mark proposed to Meghan at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. When the PGA heard Mark’s intentions, it made sure Mark was scheduled as the last tee time of the day so groups weren’t delayed. Tony, Melissa, and Meghan’s parents and close friends all stood behind the green when the scoreboard flashed, “Will you marry me, Meghan?” The couple married in 2016 and just had their first child, daughter Harlow Leigh, this spring.
The balancing act of parenting
Nic taking it to the hoop in a high school basketball game.
Nic and Matt, Tony’s sons from his first marriage and both University of Colorado graduates, started high school basketball around the time Mark’s professional career picked up. Tony coached the boys when they were in second and third grade and continued throughout high school, 17U club ball, and AAU tournaments. He was also involved with Colorado Truth, an organization that helped inner-city and suburban youth achieve academic success through athletics. In addition to basketball participation, the program required high GPAs, provided tutors, and got players involved in community service projects.
Nic was recruited to play college basketball but ultimately decided to focus on academics and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in environmental policy and management. He’s also helped restart the Colorado Truth program alongside one of his Colorado Truth teammates. Matt graduated with a degree in geography and is currently working as a research analyst in commercial real estate. Both Nic and Matt still play in competitive men’s basketball leagues.
“I remember going to one of their high school games on a Tuesday night,” says Tony, “driving to the airport after the game and catching a red-eye flight to Miami for a private equity conference the next day. I got to my hotel at 6:30 a.m., just in time to shower and shave, and was at my first of 10 private equity meetings that day by 8 a.m.”
The summer Mark was 15, Tony and Melissa loaded up their used baby clothes, furniture, and toys and gave everything away. Having married in their late 30s and already with three boys between them, they figured adding another child was probably out of the question. Melissa found out she was pregnant with TJ only a month later. As the only brother currently in high school, TJ keeps the parents busy between baseball, basketball, golf, and the occasional piano recital. Since traveling to many conferences with Tony, TJ has also taken an interest in business.
“He was our little blessing and surprise,” says Tony. “Melissa encouraged him to start piano after years of sports overload, and honestly he’s pretty talented.” As a sophomore, TJ was also a member of his high school’s state championship golf team.
Matt playing strong defense and Tony coaching from the sidelines.
Tony, TJ, and Melissa. As a sophomore this year, TJ participated on the Colorado Academy state championship team and also shot 74 and won an individual title at a high school tournament.
‘Let them follow their own path’
The family in their Denver Nuggets Mile High City gear, Thanksgiving 2019.
Back-to-back events were part of the family’s reality. Thankfully, Melissa was able to do most of her legal, mediation, and business arbitration work from home, and as long as Tony had his phone and laptop, he could essentially work from anywhere, whether walking a golf course or working between coaching games at a basketball tournament. The couple also have a large extended family throughout Colorado and close friends to lean on.
Although they’ve had to cancel several trips to watch Mark play during the pandemic, the family has hopes to attend some of the East Coast tournaments later this year. Like most people during this time, Tony’s family has found new ways to stay connected in place of typical vacations that centered around golf, skiing, and travel. They play more games at home than they ever did, and this past Christmas, they even held a family poker game that lasted until 3 a.m., although Tony was out by midnight. While not much compares to watching his boys hit a great golf or jump shot, Tony is grateful to spend time with his family no matter the activity. And although all the boys are different, they have a bond between them and remain close despite age differences and career or life trajectories.
“We’ve always let the kids follow their own path. They’ve taught us how to be good listeners and to stay open to new ideas. It’s important to learn how to adapt and to accept whatever is important in their lives, even when their plans may differ from yours,” says Tony.
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