Born in the great state of Texas, Brandon attended Sinclair Elementary School and Texas A&M University before moving to Colorado to live and enjoy the mountains for 4 years. He stumbled upon Durham with intentions of a brief stint, but loved it---although he still can't fully explain why. He loves the people, neighborhoods, trees, restaurants, nearby lakes/mountains/ocean, and all-around genuine feel----not to mention having met a great girl here. After 4 years of traveling for work, he was drawn to real estate as a vehicle to spend more of his weekdays in Durham: volunteering with local organizations, supporting local business, commuting some by bicycle, and spending more quality time with said great girl, Laura.
What did you do before real estate? I worked for ADT Security where I helped people design security systems for their homes. I enjoyed meeting with well over 1,000 people from Durham to Coastal NC in my time there. Among other things, I learned that the correct pronunciations of "siren" and "Kerr" are sigh-reen and car, respectively. Before ADT, I worked in Guest Services at the Chateau Residence Club in Beaver Creek, CO where I arrived for work by bicycle in the summer and skis in the winter (it was, in fact, a rough way to live). However, the front-runner for my all-time favorite job is the bicycle delivery position I held at Burger Boy in College Station, TX. I was actually given compensation to ride my bicycle for 20 hours each week delivering various fried foods across campus. As a hungry and poor student, I could often be found taking advantage of the generous 40% employee discount.
What do you do outside of work? I spend a lot of time with my fiancee Laura, and Sam, our 10 month-old Lab mix. We enjoy daily walks/runs on the streets and trails of Durham, wakeboarding on Falls Lake, and occasional trips to the beach or hiking in the mountains. If I was forced to pursue recreation as a career, I would, in no particular order: fly-fish mountain streams and coastal marshes, ride my mountain and road bikes, backpack/camp/hike, whitewater kayak, travel to Asia and South/Central America, surf, play tennis and guitar, learn piano, ride a Harley on country roads, telemark ski, and cook/share meals with the people I care about.
What organizations get your time and money? D3 Community Outreach and Kiva.org. D3's mission is "to foster a healthier community by developing a healthier child." They offer four main options to the youth of Durham: a summer basketball program, financial/entrepreneurial training, mentoring, and a GED program. I was drawn to D3 after hearing about them on The State of Things on WUNC and connecting this radio show with images I had taken in while driving through urban areas of Durham. I also support Kiva entrepreneurs since I dream to someday help out in rural, underdeveloped communities in isolated parts of the world with a mentality similar to that in the book 3 Cups of Tea.
How would you spend $100 in Durham? I would start my day with a breakfast burrito from Nosh or perhaps eggs from JC's kitchen ($5). After breakfast I would occupy a sidewalk table with a green tea at Joe Van Gogh ($3). Lunch would take me by International Delights on Ninth St. for Gyros ($7), a Greek salad ($7), and some stuffed grape leaves ($5) before taking it to Laura's work to share. Hoping the deadline has not yet arrived, I would call Floral Dimensions about 1pm to have some Gerbera Daisies delivered same-day to Laura ($45). Dinner plans would include some Texas brisket, sweet potato tater tots, and creamed spinach provided by the Q Shack ($8) before stopping at the Green Room on Broad Street to grab a beer from their fine selection of unique brews ($4). Late night stomach grumblings would be interrupted by a Torta filled with Asada from one of the three taco-stands-on-wheels situated along Hillsborough Rd ($6). With my remaining $10 I would start saving for a new Durham Bulls cap since a certain Lab-mix puppy, who will remain nameless, determined that my prized Bulls cap of 3 years would make for a nice meal.
Your most recent restaurant visit? JC's Kitchen (corner of Fayetteville/Main) for breakfast after signing a contract to have our wedding at the nearby Cotton Room.
What book are you currently reading? I recently ran across Durham: A Bull City Story and am looking forward to learning more about the history of our cool city.