Name: Jessica Brown
Where were you born and raised?
“I’m a hometown girl. I was born in Gadsden, raised in Hokes Bluff and now I live in Whorton’s Bend.”
What is your occupation?
“I am the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Family Savings Credit Union.”
What made you decide to work in your field?
“When I started college, I was on track to get a concentration in print journalism. I had a dream of working in New York City for the magazine Cosmopolitan. My mom started telling me how I should consider public relations and how I’d be so good at that. I discussed it with my college advisor. He told me about job opportunities, what classes I would take, etc. I decided to change concentrations and I knew I had chosen the right field after I completed my internship at United Way of Etowah County.”
Tell us about your family and pets.
“I married my high school sweetheart, Cason, in 2006. We have two miniature dachshunds, Isobel (8) and Crosby (9 months). We have a precious nephew named Dean, who is 10 months old, that we love to spoil rotten and send back home to his parents.”
Describe an average day in your life.
“I wake up at 5 a.m. I take about an hour and half to get ready for work, feed the dogs, prepare breakfast and lunch for my husband and put the dogs back up in their pen. I love breakfast, so I usually eat breakfast while I watch a show or read a book. I get to work between 7:10-7:30 a.m. My work day is different every day. I usually spend the day: checking email, marking things off my to do list and handling unexpected things throughout the day. I get off work at 4 p.m. The first I do when I get home is change into lounge pants, a t-shirt and take my makeup off. Once I’m comfy, I let the dogs in, feed them and either watch tv or read my book. I usually start cooking dinner around 5 p.m. Cason and I eat dinner. After we eat dinner and I’ve cleaned the kitchen, we either wind down by watching TV or swimming in our pool. By 9 p.m., lights are out and I’m in bed. I try to stay up reading but I’m usually sound asleep by 9:30 or earlier.”
What school or schools have you attended?
“I graduated from Hokes Bluff High School in 2003 and then graduated from Jacksonville State University with a BA in Communications and a concentration in Public Relations in 2007.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“I love to read, watch movies or tv, bake desserts, play board games, shop and be around friends and family. I love hosting parties, so we have people over at our house almost every weekend.”
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
“I think staying married for 12 years is a pretty big accomplishment! It’s a lot of fun but it’s also a lot of hard work.”
Name the one person that has been the most influential in your life. Why?
“My life has consisted of so many influences, it’s too difficult to name just one. My parents instilled in me the important values of life. Joanne Hightower (my director at United Way) was influential in my professional life. She really taught me how to be not only a leader but a good leader. My husband has really influenced me to take chances, be spontaneous and relax more, and it’s okay if things don’t go according to plan. These people have really made me a better and stronger person.”
To what do you credit your success?
“I serve an almighty God who has been very good to me. He has blessed me with good health, wisdom, great mentors, wonderful friends and a loving family.”
Are you involved in any service organizations?
“I’m a member of HYPE (How Young Professionals Engage). I serve on the East Alabama Works World of Work committee. I’m also on the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Etowah and Student Leadership committee. I’m on the board of the Cheaha Chapter YPG (Young Professionals Group). I also volunteer for Council on Aging, United Way of Etowah County and I’m very involved in my church, Cornerstone.”
What is your favorite thing about this community?
“I absolutely love the heart of our community. When I worked at United Way, I saw firsthand how this community works together to get things accomplished. It is a ‘shut up and shovel’ town. We’re a good mix of small town but acts like a big town. We have art galleries, a thriving downtown area, boutiques, gift shops, theatre groups, really good local restaurants and bars…and the best part is we can get anywhere in Gadsden in 30 minutes or less. There is literally something going on every week and something for everyone.”
What would you like to see change in the community?
“I’d love to see Gadsden’s reputation change from an outsider’s perspective. I think recently Gadsden has received some negative news and it’s really unfortunate that a few bad stories can tarnish our town, because it really is a special town.”
What are three words that describe you?
“Passionate, charismatic and organized.”
What is something surprising that many do not know about you?
“One of my favorite shows is MTV’s “The Challenge.” I’ve seen every episode of every season. It’s a trashy show but I love the competitions. On Wednesday mornings, I usually call my sister so we can discuss last night’s episode. I also follow all the players from the show on Twitter.”
What is your favorite quote?
“My favorite Bible verse is 1 Timothy 4:12: “Do not let any look down on your because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
What is on your bucket list?
“When I turned 30, I actually created 30 goals to accomplish in my 30’s. One thing on the list is to skydive.”
What is your hidden talent?
“I was a majorette in high school and I can still do a lot of the tricks I did back then.”
If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you?
“Emma Stone. I think she is so funny and down to earth, and I could see us being friends. Plus, she can pull off curly hair and a southern accent.”
What advice would you give yourself as a child?
“It’ll all work out…..you may have bad days but you don’t have a bad life.”
If you would like to nominate someone for the People of Etowah column, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 256-547-1049.