Occupation: Executive director of business and community services for Pellissippi State Community College.
Family: Married to David Brahams. They have one daughter, Caryn, 16, a student at Alcoa High School.
Teri Brahams is chair of the Leadership Blount board of directors this year. “I truly believe that Leadership Blount plays such an important role in our community because of our focus on preparing the citizens of Blount County to be servant leaders.”
Brahams says the founding members of Leadership Blount had a great idea when they talked about training 36 individuals each year about every aspect of the community. The proposal was to build involvement, train and motivate citizens for community service, she says.
The class starts with an overnight orientation stay at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont near Townsend. Each month the class members take a full day off work to take trips throughout the county to learn different aspects of the community. A highlight of the year is the overnight trip to Nashville to see state lawmakers at work.
The experience helps the classmates learn more about Blount County, the opportunities to serve the community, and it also helps in networking with other professionals.
“The return on investment is just huge for each person who goes through class,” she says. “The best part is the relationships that are formed, the fun that class members have as they explore Blount County and all of the things its organizations and businesses have to offer and the social interaction that allows you to build friendships that last a lifetime.”
Brahams says it is always exciting when a new class is introduced as the most recent one was on July 28. “These are a group of 36 individuals who kind of think they know what they’re getting into but aren’t quite sure. It’s neat to have that level of anticipation,” she said. “For us alums, we know what they’re going through. We’re always excited to have a new group go through this experience.”
Brahams says this group is special because it is the 20th Leadership Blount class. “As we kick off the 20th anniversary celebration of Leadership Blount and introduce the 20th class, I think it’s a marvelous opportunity to celebrate all the wonderful people who commit time and energy and other resources to make Blount County the wonderful place it is to live.”
Here is Teri Brahams:
Who are you most like, your mother or your father and why?
“Probably my father. He was outgoing, held numerous leadership roles, had a great sense of humor and was full of integrity.”
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
“Beginnings are usually scary and endings are usually sad, but it’s everything in between that makes it all worth living,” - Sandra Bullock in “Hope Floats”
How do you like your steak cooked?
What are you guilty of?
“Not always taking enough time for myself.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“My engagement and wedding rings.”
What are you reading currently?
‘“Storming Heaven,’ by Denise Giardina. It’s Maryville College’s selection for this fall’s Common Book Experience.”
Who has been the most influential person in the 20th Century?
“Rosa Parks. Her quiet, humble belief in the power of the individual is so inspiring.”
If you only had a week to live, what would you do and why?
“Record messages for my family and friends to play on special occasions and upcoming milestones that I was going to miss so they could have a sense of my still being there.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“There are three: professional, trustworthy and caring.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I still occasionally procrastinate.”
What is your passion?
“Raising my daughter and using the power of knowledge to change lives.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“My father. He passed away when I was a young adult, and I would love the opportunity to talk with him again.”
If a movie were made about your life, who would play you and why?
“Julie Andrews, although she is much older than me and her voice is much better than mine. I hope my movie would be a musical.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“I would love to go back to the time Jesus was on the earth. I have so many questions I would like to ask him.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“A beautiful amethyst pendant necklace that my husband gave me as a wedding present. It belonged to his paternal great-grandmother.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“She directed me to Joshua 1:8 for the secret to success.”
In the workplace, would you rather be powerful or popular?
“Neither. I’d rather be respected.”
Who is your hero?
“My identical twin sister, Sheri. She was born deaf but that never was a factor. She and her husband are serving as missionaries in South Africa now.”
Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“Yes, but not as frequently as one should if they are going to do those sorts of things.”
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
“Dog, most definitely.”
What’s the worst job you have ever had?
“I’ve been very fortunate in my work life to have good jobs; but as a child, working on the farm was probably the worst when it came to cleaning out the barn or picking up potatoes out of the garden.”
What is your theme song that best describes you?
“The hymn ‘It is Well with My Soul.’ When I was fighting my breast cancer, this hymn sustained me and brought great comfort.”