CEO, The Mind Trust
As CEO, Brandon Brown leads The Mind Trust’s groundbreaking work to provide every Indianapolis student the opportunity to attend an excellent school. He previously oversaw The Mind Trust’s three education incubators as Senior Vice President for Education Innovation.
Brandon joined The Mind Trust after three years of service as the City of Indianapolis’ charter schools director under Mayor Greg Ballard. Before joining the Mayor’s Office, Brandon served in several leadership roles with Teach For America (TFA)-Indianapolis, including as managing director of community partnerships of the Indianapolis office. He previously was a TFA corps member and taught English at Carnahan High School in St. Louis. Brandon holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He has been an advisory board member for Teach Plus-Indianapolis; a statewide council member for the Indiana Center for Family, School, and Community Partnerships; and a member of the Central Indiana Education Alliance.
Maximize the opportunities in front of us to make one more day of progress to ensure more kids in our city have access to a great school.
Great ideas and a strong vision are important, but execution and fortitude get results.
I’ve been thinking about getting on the exercise bike that we bought for Christmas. Maybe today is the day.
Take out the trash. Last week I forgot and my wife asked me in the middle of the night if I had remembered, which sent me running outside at 3:00 a.m. in less than ideal clothing.
Assume the best in others. It makes for a more joyful and hopeful existence.
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
Indianapolis is a city that consistently punches above its weight class. A few decades ago, we made up our mind that we were going to be the Sports Capital of the World… and we did it. We have a long track record of incredible mayors who tackled big ideas and consistently built off of each other’s success. We are a burgeoning tech hub, a place where public-private partnerships are part of our DNA, and a city where people truly embody “Midwestern Nice.” Most importantly, though, we are the best positioned city in the country to transform our education system so that every student has access to a great public school.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Bacon and eggs at home on a Saturday morning with my wife and our two young boys (soon-to-be three and five years old).
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Hitting snooze on my alarm for the first time and trying to fight for some space in the bed because one of our kids has undoubtedly crawled in with us. I’m up and at ‘em around 6:20, smelling freshly brewed coffee at about 6:45, and out the door and on our way to preschool with the kids at 7:15. I usually start my day with an 8:00 a.m. breakfast meeting at one of my favorite spots – one of them being Café Patachou.
10:00 AM – Undoubtedly in a meeting – either external or internal. If it’s a Wednesday, I’m in a Leadership Team meeting where we tackle the strategic challenges of the week. I will be regularly reminded of how incredible our team is and how lucky we are to have such mission-driven, brilliant, and dedicated leaders who have committed their lives to help more kids attend great schools.
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
If I have an internal working lunch meeting, then I’ll definitely order from ClusterTruck, a delivery service with amazingly diverse options. I’m pretty sure staff members of The Mind Trust single handedly keep them in business. If I’m meeting with an external stakeholder for lunch, you will most likely find me having sweet potato fries at Shoefly, the spicy chicken bowl at Mesh, or the smoked corn puree soup at The Meridian.
7:00 PM – We’re eating dinner as a family and talking about our days. We’ll then spend the next hour doing dishes, playing with the boys, and FaceTiming family. Around 8:00, we’ll start the kids’ bed time routine and hopefully they will both be asleep by 8:45 after some stories (they’re currently into the Gingerbread Man and Pirates Love Tacos) and stalling tactics (they all of a sudden get really thirsty right when they’re supposed to stop talking). Then we’ll try to straighten up the hurricane of toys the kids left in their wake and talk about our schedules for the next day and any logistics that need to be figured out. Then we both will probably pour some red wine and head down to the basement to watch a favorite show while clearing out our inboxes.
11:00 PM – Generally, 11:00 p.m. is my bedtime unless there is extra work to get done that night. I need seven hours of sleep or I feel it the next day.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
I’ll pour an extra large cup of coffee before heading out the door in the morning and will likely fill it up again once at the office if I don’t have a breakfast meeting. On a particularly busy day, I might also sneak out mid-afternoon to get a Starbucks. Once the kids are in bed, a glass of red wine or Woodford Reserve bourbon definitely hits the spot.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
I enjoy keeping up with politics and world events, so I use the news app on my iPhone quite a bit. This is kind of embarrassing, but I hardly know what Instagram is. ☺
What should everyone try at least once?
Swimming with sharks. A group of us did it in South Africa last year, and it was pretty cool. It’s not as scary as it sounds!
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
On Wikipedia. Sometimes I start by looking something or someone up, and I end up 15 topics and 90 minutes later realizing that I should probably do something more productive.