County Mayor Michael Brady is a familiar face around Grundy County after the recent election. He spent the spring and summer canvassing communities from Pelham to Palmer and Monteagle to Beersheba Springs. He visited with us before his first day in office to discuss his hopes for the county.
Congratulations on your recent win. By the time this comes out you will be our new County Mayor. I know you met many people during the election, but can you tell us a little about yourself? “I was raised in Beersheba Springs and my parents are Larry and Debbie Brady. I have a brother, Craig Brady.”
Are you married? “Yes. I have been happily married to my wife Lisa for eight years. And, we dated for eight years before that. We have four children. Zachary Wanamaker, 22; Lacey Wanamaker, 20; Carissa Brady, 20; and Trace Brady, 17.
You are from Beersheba. North Elementary? “Well, I started out at Beersheba Springs for one year and went to Altamont for one year and then went to North. I played Big 8 Basketball at North. Then I went to Grundy County High School and graduated in 1991.”
What did you do after high school? “I went to trade school for welding and fabrication in McMinnville. When I graduated, I went to work for H&E Enterprises and from there went to Yorozu. After a while, everything began to switch over to automation and my brother and I decided to try our hand contracting business. We hauled nursery stock. We did well, sold that business to another competitor and opened another business using digging machines that harvested nursery stock.
“My brother eventually decided that his heart was in real estate and I went to work for Carrier in Morrison. On my first day there, I also became a full-time college student. I started at Motlow and went to class at night. While there, I studied pre-law and government. At this time, I also got my paralegal certificate. I went on to get my Bachelors of Arts in Business Management at Trevecca University. While I was in college I was a member of three honor societies and graduated each time with honors.”
How did you become interested in county government? “I always wanted to go to law school. I even took the LSAT. I wanted to go into family law because I saw so many children getting a bad deal, the little cries not heard. But, when you have four children, you have to go to work.
“I had been working for Carrier for a while, but they closed and Joanne Childers approached me and asked if I would be interested in becoming a field assessor for Grundy County. I had some experience in this area because of my brother’s real estate business.
“While I was out in the county, I saw there was a real need for jobs and direction. This led me to run for County Commission in 2010.”
As a County Commissioner, you were able to identify many areas of need you campaigned for during the election. “Yes, as County Mayor I want to push our county forward. I hope to rekindle the pride in Grundy County. It will be great to bring new employers and manufacturing to the area. We need core services for our people. These areas have been taking a back seat.”
As you meet with the people of the county, what surprises you the most? “They don’t complain. These people know the issues, they deserve better, but they don’t complain. It really touches my heart.”
In talking with you, it is obvious you are passionate about Grundy County. “I am. I love the people; you can go anywhere and they are smiling and friendly. They are big-hearted. They come together for each other. I love the beauty of Grundy County. And, I love the potential – for tourism and for manufacturing – it’s there!
Michael Brady spent the past week in training and orientation sessions with the state for his new position as County Mayor. During this time, he was able to meet other County Mayors and representatives from state offices and the Tennessee Development District. He says he was able to discuss his short-term and long-term goals for the county at these meetings.