Tell us about yourself
My name is Patricia Bradby and I am the Communications and Events Manager for Leadership Metro Richmond. I grew up in New Kent County just outside of the city and moved away to New York City for college where I began my career in the live music industry. I have a B.M. in Music Business from New York University as well as an M.B.A from the University of Texas at Austin. Since moving back to RVA in the fall of 2015, I have found many fun and exciting ways to utilize my skill sets for the betterment of the community. Outside of my work at LMR, I also lead the community team for TEDxRVA (we launched TEDxRVASalons in January 2017) and I have my own small business (Miss Priss Tea) which encourages face-to-face intergenerational communication over afternoon tea. My specific knowledge around live music event production has also been utilized to help the Richmond Symphony produce three of their Big Tent festivals in Jackson Ward and the East End.
What is the focus of your work, the need you are addressing?
The focus of my work at LMR is bringing together diverse groups of community leaders to learn, brainstorm, and collaborate on solutions for our region’s current and future challenges. There are so many individuals and groups doing great work in our communities and the level of their impact will only increase if we can connect them and get them working alongside one another to share their knowledge, experiences and resources.
I love connecting people. My role at Leadership Metro Richmond has introduced me to so many amazing community leaders across the nine localities of our region (Ashland, Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Richmond, and Powhatan) that are all working hard to increase the quality of life for their fellow citizens. When I meet two people who are working towards the same goal (or share the same interests) and I am able to put them in touch with one another, the joining of those forces is like gasoline to my fire. Making those connections and seeing their work amplified is what energizes me every morning.
Our work at LMR is all about people. It is about serving others first, and thus leading by example. It is about adding unheard voices to the decision-making conversations that help determine their future and the future of their children. Connecting people who DON’T see eye-to-eye on particular topics is also rewarding for me, because these are the conversations that are going to shape the society that my future children will grow up in. And like anyone else, I want the next generation to grow up in a world that is more open-minded, empathetic, collaborative, and forward-thinking than the world I grew up in.
What are some major challenges you have faced and how you handled them?
As a young professional the challenge I face most often is the perception of my age. I look very young and often people think I am still in school (sometimes college…sometimes high school). With two college degrees and over ten years of work experience, I expect to be taken seriously when I sit down for a meeting or lead a discussion. One of the many things I love about LMR is that we continuously impress upon the community how important it is to have a diverse set of voices present at every decision-making table. We don’t just mean diversity of race and gender, but also of age, years of experience, field of expertise, job function, sexual orientation and religious background. Everyone’s voice should be valued because their experiences are not just their own. They represent a population of people who deserve not just to be heard but also understood. So I face this challenge of ageism with confidence in my ability to deliver top quality work from brainstorm to execution to post-project reflection, and I look at these seemingly-negative experiences as opportunities to provide a fresh perspective for these new contacts which they may not have considered before.
What’s one misconception the public has about your organization OR what would someone be surprised to know about your organization?
Our flagship program, Leadership Quest, is what we are best known for in the community. What most people don’t know is that we also have programming for our alumni to stay engaged with one another and up-to-date on what’s happening in our communities. We also offer programs to the public such as our Board Leaders Roundtable series which we partner with The Community Foundation on to strengthen our local non-profit board leadership. At the moment, the Board Leaders Roundtable series are offered to non-profit board chairs, chairs-elect and treasurers. Like much of our programming these series offer core educational programming but they also offer an opportunity for board leaders to get together with a diverse set of their peers to share best practices and learn from one another.
Do you have any interesting initiatives or programs on the horizon?
At the end of the month we will kick off the 2018 Lora M. Robins Speaker Series which is an annual education series that we present to the public in partnership with the Robins Foundation. This year we are honing in on how trauma is affecting our youth, a topic that needs to be addressed because many of our young people are struggling academically as a result of traumatic experiences happening at home and in our communities which are out of their control.
This is going to be a powerful series and I am excited to hear from all three speakers we have lined up. The first is Dr. Allison Sampson-Jackson who spoke at the first TEDxRVA event that I was fortunate enough to help produce. She is a licensed clinical social worker and a certified sex offender practitioner with many years of experience providing services to “at-promise” youth. The second speaker will be filmmaker James Redford (son of actor and director Robert Redford) who has directed and produced two films that delve into the topic of childhood trauma, “Paper Tigers” and “Resilience”. We will actually be hosting a free screening of “Resilience” on February 13th at the Thomas Fulghum Conference Center leading up to Mr. Redford’s session on February 28th. The final session will be led by Dr. Christopher Emdin, an Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Columbia University. He the author of a recently released book, “For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood… and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education.” I expect that his experience as the creator of the #HipHopEd social media movement will bring forth a perspective that local education leaders, health professionals, social workers, and parents alike need to hear right now.
Are you and/or your organization involved in any exciting collaborations or partnerships?
The above-mentioned speaker series is a partnership with Robins Foundation, but we are also in the process of strengthening the services we offer in the way of board leader training through collaboration with The Community Foundation. In addition to our Board Leaders Roundtable series we also work with TCF on our Board Connector event every spring the matches local community leaders with open board service opportunities. That is an event we are hoping to expand upon and there have been discussions of possibly offering new programming around this topic in the not too distant future. The diversification of non-profit boards in this region is a major focus area for our organization at the moment.
How are you leveraging ConnectVA/The Community Foundation to achieve your mission?
As I mentioned, we are strengthening our partnership with The Community Foundation in the way of increased collaborative programming around non-profit board service. The data and resources that this partnership provides are invaluable. We also use ConnectVA to promote all of our community programs and to stay up-to-date on what our members are doing. There have been numerous ConnectVA Spotlight’s like this one about members of our organization and we love to hear what they’re currently working on and who they’re collaborating with.
Anything else you would like to share?
If anyone is interested in becoming a member of Leadership Metro Richmond, we open applications for the Leadership Quest Class of 2019 on February 26th. Leadership Quest is the gateway into our organization and we are always looking for the next wave of engaged community leaders to add to our network. For more information on the program and to receive information about our upcoming recruitment receptions visit, http://www.lmronline.org/leadership-quest (feel free to refer yourself as a prospect!).