The Pandemic and the major life change…

Alan J. Schwarz
7 min readJul 21, 2021

Dominant Homes was thriving, the company couldn’t keep up with the demand they were facing for building new subdivisions. They’d throw up a sale’s trailer in some rural setting and all the houses to be built would be sold out in forty-eight hours.

Dominant was started by Philip Black and he and his brothers had turned it into a juggernaut. Over time Philip’s brothers sold their interests in the company to Philip for huge amounts of money and retired. As Philip (a Holocaust survivor) got older he passed management of the company on to his two sons and daughter. One year after taking a step back, Philip passed away in his sleep.

Philip’s children, Brian, Jeffrey, and Rayna worked together in harmony. They never had a problem that they couldn’t resolve by talking things out. They loved and respected each other and a strong, supportive relationship was very important to them all.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, they kept the company moving forward. In certain ways they scaled the operation down, but the building process didn’t stop. They were among the top five residential builders in Canada.

In July when they were given the signal by the Government that it was okay to return to their offices, there was a change in Jeffrey. He did everything needed to do for the company (strategic planning) that fell under his purview but he acted differently than before Covid showed up on the scene.

Jeffrey would come into the office at four-thirty in the morning and stay till seventy thirty in the evening. He wasn’t interested in a social life and he seemed intense and serious and in a way sad. He didn’t interact with his siblings and would communicate with his Executive Assistant, Lynda mostly by email or text. It was weird.

Brian and Rayna noticed the change and felt they had to take some kind of action to help their brother get through whatever he was going through. They set up a meeting for Friday morning under the title ‘’Present and Future.’’

When Jeffrey walked into the boardroom, his eyes were red and he seemed despondent. Lucas, Rayna’s Executive Assistant brought everyone tea and coffee, and a tray of bagels, pasty and sandwiches. He placed the tray on the table, walked to the door and exited.



Alan J. Schwarz

Alan Schwarz loves life. He is the founder of JAMS Productions, a television production company based in Toronto . His passion is writing.