People of Etowah – Carl Brady


Name: Carl Brady

Where were you born and raised?

“I was born in Gadsden in 1968 at the Holy Name of Jesus Hospital, and was raised on The Mountain near Noccalula Falls.”

What is your occupation?

“My current occupation is Workforce Program Manager for the East AlabamaWorks Regional Workforce Council. I work with local business and industry to identify their needs as related to their workforce, and help to fill those needs with educated, trained workers.

Prior to coming to East AlabamaWorks, I spent 31 years in the radio and tv broadcasting industry. The first 20 years were spent in radio and the last 11-years were spent on television with WEAC TV24.”

What made you decide to work in your field?

“During all the years I worked in broadcasting, I saw my career as a form of public service. I had an open forum and an audience, and I could use those things to help promote local organizations and events. When the opportunity arose to make a change to East AlabamaWorks last year, I saw it as a chance to continue that public service role. The organization is a non-profit connected to the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama, and both organizations do great work in the East Alabama region.”

Tell us about your family and pets.

“My family situation is pretty much just me and my dogs. Aside from a very short-lived marriage a few years ago, I have been single my entire adult life and have no children. I do have two dogs – Maggie and Oreo – and I never know when I may be coming home to random neighborhood dogs hanging out at my house as well. I have always been an animal lover and pretty much always have an assortment of animals around.

I am very lucky to still have my parents around, Sonny and Sharon Brady. I also have a younger sister, Connie Brannon. Her kids and grandkids have always been surrogate kids and grandkids for me since I don’t have my own.

I also consider myself blessed to be in a relationship with a wonderful woman whose kids have accepted me as part of their family as if I have always been there.”

Describe an average day in your life.

“I don’t think there is an ‘average’ day in my life. The East AlabamaWorks region covers seven counties, so my days can find me driving to any point in the area for meetings with industry leaders, elected officials, education officials and others. I also do a lot of public speaking to organizations and civic clubs talking about the state’s workforce development efforts.”

What school or schools have you attended?

“I’ll start from the beginning! I am a proud graduate of kindergarten from Peggy McDowell’s Early Childhood Education Center. I attended elementary school at R.A. Mitchell, middle school at General Forrest, and high school at Emma Sansom. I went to Samford University on a combination of baseball and academic scholarships but left after only two years.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“One of my main hobbies is music. I play guitar, piano and a little bit of the bass. I have been playing and singing around the area for many years. I’ve always performed a wide variety of country music, but the past few years have seen me narrow that down to mostly classic country, with some bluegrass and southern gospel thrown in. Come see me in Downtown Gadsden for August’s Third Thursday!”

Name the one person that has been the most influential in your life. Why?

“I can’t really point to one person that has been the most influential for me. My life has been surrounded by good, supportive and loving family and friends. I have two sets of wonderful grandparents whom I adored. My parents are the best parents anyone could have asked for. No matter what kind of screwy decision I made or crazy dream I wanted to chase, they have always been my biggest supporters and biggest fans.”

To what do you credit your success?

“Hard work, loyalty and dedication. I have never hesitated to dig into a job and give it 110 percent as much as possible. I always made it a point to learn something about every job within the radio and TV stations where I worked so that I would always be the go-to guy who could troubleshoot, fill-in and solve problems in any department.

It also helped that I absolutely loved working in broadcasting. I never felt like I was going to work.”

Are you involved in any service organizations?

“Thanks to my broadcasting career I have been involved with many organizations in a variety of capacities, but not as an official ‘member.’ I have volunteered countless hours over the years and have very rarely said ‘no’ to a request to emcee or host special events or fundraisers. I have provided many free hours of interviews and air time on both radio and TV to the service organizations around the area. I will admit that there are a few groups that are especially close to my heart – Gadsden Kiwanis, Humane Society Pet Rescue and Adoption Center and the Gadsden-Etowah Patriots Association.”

What is your favorite thing about this community?

“I really love the natural beauty of our community…the mountains, rivers and lakes, etc. Noccalula Falls has always been one of my favorite places, and downtown Gadsden is an amazing highlight of the community. I really enjoy going to First Friday and all of the events downtown. It is also very nice to see how many people are enjoying shopping, eating, and socializing in downtown Gadsden on a daily basis.”

What would you like to see change in the community?

“I would really like to see commercial developers finally embrace the Coosa River waterfront. There are amazing opportunities for some really nice businesses with outdoor/waterfront seating. We need some people with creativity and vision to make that investment.

I would also like to see the community attitude as a whole improve. There is too much negativity going around, and social media only amplifies that problem. Our whole region is a great place to live and work, and we all need to spend more time promoting the positives instead of trying to tear things down with negativity.”

What are three words that describe you?

“Hard-working, loyal and creative.”

What is something surprising that many do not know about you?

“Most people would never suspect that I am basically a very shy, almost introverted person. I have had to work very hard at overcoming that shyness in order to be the “radio and TV guy” that everyone knows. You’ll find that quite a few radio and TV personalities, actors and actresses have that same issue.”

What is your favorite quote?

“If ya got time to breathe, ya got time for music!” – Briscoe Darlin (Andy Griffith Show).

What is on your bucket list?

“I’ve never really made a bucket list. If I have to list something, I guess it would be to find a way to take some vacations before I get too old. I’ve never been one to take much time off of work and go on vacations. I need to make myself get away and recharge my batteries more.”

What is your hidden talent?

“I have the ability to find water, buried objects and graves using what they traditionally call “witching rods.” I attended a seminar on the topic several years ago as part of a news story for TV. During the seminar, I learned that I have the ability! I can’t explain it and I don’t know how it works, but I can do it.”

If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you?

“No question about it…Tom Selleck. In my younger days, people would tell me that I favored him. Over the years, I have become a fan. My favorite Selleck character is Frank Reagan on Blue Bloods.”

What advice would you give yourself as a child?

“I hate that this is going to sound cynical, but I would say, ‘Find yourself a mentor who knows how to make money and learn how to make money.’”

To nominate someone for the People of Etowah column, e-mail or call 256-547-1049.

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