February is Black History Month. While The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce celebrates all our members throughout the year, this month we are shinning a spotlight on our members within the African American community. Join us all month long for our 2nd annual spotlight series. This special feature helps our communities learn a little more about some of their business leaders who work so hard to make it a community to be proud of.
Today, we would like you to get to know Brandan Stuckey of Bethesda Transportation Solutions.
Brandan moved from Birmingham, Alabama in December 2019 to join Bethesda Transportation Solutions (BTS)/Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) to help meet the transportation demands set by MCDOT. He took on the role as Marketing & Outreach Manager in order to provide transit options for businesses in downtown Bethesda and reduce the single occupancy vehicle rate into the area. BTS is a FREE resource available to commuters and employers in Bethesda's business district who are looking for "another way" to get to work. Their goals are to manage traffic congestion, support alternatives to driving alone, reduce air & noise pollution and promote bicycle & pedestrian access. In addition to his BTS responsibilities Brandan also sits on the Board of Directors of the GBCC, 2021-2022 class of emerging leaders of Leadership Montgomery, member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, certified drone pilot, member of the Chesapeake chapter of ACT, and proud husband and father.
We asked Brandan three important questions. Read his responses below.
Q1. What are some challenges you faced early on that helped prepare you for the role you are in today and how did you overcome them?
I’ve learned patience for the process, patience for the journey. I started my career as a photojournalist in Tallahassee, FL covering state house, senate, & Governor press briefings. Those long hours of political coverage required a lot of patience and focus. When I transitioned into the Transportation career field while moving back home to Birmingham, I began to realize just how much politics touches every aspect of my life. I played a pivotal role in establishing Bikeshare and multimodal transportation in a community that was sorely lacking the infrastructure. I faced the challenges of lack of bike lanes, sharrows, and protected lanes, lack of community engagement head on by establishing relationships with local politicians, city officials, business leaders, and community representatives to create a cultural shift necessary for these projects to be successful. All this work was in preparation for what I’m doing today with BUP/BTS. You have your ups and downs but it’s patience that pays.
Q2. Who/What is your biggest inspiration in both your personal and professional life?
Growing up in the heart of South, Birmingham, AL afforded me the surreal experience of choices to either meet heroes of the Civil Rights movement in person or visit the historic landmarks where history was made. No person embodied the spirit of my hometown and that era of change in America than Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. He was the epitome of bravery and courage in the face of great opposition. His emotional intelligence and his capacity for leadership still echoes through history and he inspires my journey today.
Q3. What is your biggest piece of advice to businesses struggling with diversity and inclusivity in the workplace?
I’d say connect the dots. Lewis Latimer invented the filament for the light bulb that Garrett Morgan used to light the traffic light. Granville Woods’ improvements to the railroads paved the way for mass transit that the Metro provides our region today. Richard Spikes changed the way we drive cars and school buses. These are just a few great Americans that paved the way for the career I have today. Businesses have to look around to see how many of these minds are present and contributing to their company. There’s a fatal flaw that’s systemic in our society which requires a higher level of collective uplift to course correct. We do a good job of identifying the historic harms inflicted upon the communities I descend from, but the solutions haven’t been specific enough and certainly don’t go far enough to warrant any positive outcomes. We must connect the dots to the nation’s crumbling infrastructure that congress is attempting to correct and the deficiencies in Black communities who’ve been cut out and cut off if we don’t want to continue down this road of struggle. Let’s all do our part!
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