“Father, Husband, Son, Listener, Lover, Learner, Mentor, Storyteller, Singer, Seeker, Believer… Me.”
Preface: “Stories set the inner life into motion, and this is particularly important where the inner life is frightened, wedged, or cornered. Story greases the hoists and pulleys, it causes adrenaline to surge, shows us the way out, down, or up, and for our trouble, cuts for us fine wide doors in previously blank walls, openings that lead to the dreamland, that lead to love and learning, that lead us back to our own real lives . . . ” Jungian analyst and story-teller Clarissa Pinkola Estés
It doesn’t matter how far back in time we go, or whether we are young or old, stories are the truest form of human communication. We all need stories to believe in. Storytelling is the thing that conjures the images that have always defined humanity and given meaning and direction to who we are. As a student of Joseph Campbell (1904‒1987), I believe it was he that most developed this idea for my generation of the writers of society and history that I follow. So, if you are one of the unfortunates that believe myths are not true, believe me when I tell you, and hopefully on occasion show you, that they are in fact the most sacred of truths.
What I believe: The fine art of communication is under siege. With every tweet, post, chat, and flame, our current cultural primary methods of communication are restrained to their TLDNR, one-hundred- and sixty-character, emoji-loving, meme-driven shortcomings.
Whereas the elegant use of language, and the articulation of real communication, far beyond mere words, is in full retreat and the onomatopoetic significance of expression that promotes and employs color, tone, texture and intent is displaced by curt, pointed, abrupt sound bites that rarely reflect the fullest intent of the sender or considers the changeable environment of the recipient.
This assault on language has reached a fevered pitch and the art of written human expression is fallen prey to the promoters of discourteous discourse that offers neither character nor substance. “Why Eye Write” – this forum – is committed to a renaissance of language and the intrinsic capacity of the written word to articulate, express, inform, inspire, and genuinely give voice to thought.
Who is this guy?
Brian is both the Director, Communication and Technology for the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council and the Program Director for the Greater Cincinnati Occupational Health Center (GCOHC). In his role as Director of Communication, he is responsible for managing and directing the organization’s internal and external communication, creating and executing the organizations’ communication strategies, and serving as a key spokesperson and media contact for the organization.
As Program Manager, Greater Cincinnati Occupational Health Center, he manages and administrates a training program that specializes in emergency response and hazardous worker operations. It was one of the first labor-sponsored occupational health clinics in the nation. GCOHC’s training program in emergency response and hazardous waste operations is carefully monitored by the Board of Directors, comprised of representatives recognized nationally and internationally in emergency response, hazardous waste operations, and other environmental fields.
To these roles and a host of nonprofit organizations with whom he works, he brings nearly 4 decades of experience in communication and marketing in both for profit and non-profit businesses, spanning the gap from the manual typewriter to the most advanced digital communication platforms. He has an extensive background in Information Technology and visual and electronic communication (Film, Video, Digital Media and Live Events).
Brian is unabashedly a center-left social activist, actively engaged with the Hamilton and Butler County Democratic Parties and providing leadership for several social services organizations. Currently, he serves on the United Way of Greater Cincinnati (UWGC) Policy Cabinet and serves as Vice Chair for the Board of Directors for the Butler Philharmonic Orchestra.
In a prior life ( a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…) Brian performed professionally in numerous operas, light opera, musicals, classical oratorios and cantatas, as well as pop, swing & jazz a wide range of summer stock and repertory theatres. He is considered a specialist in Light Opera and the works of the American Musical Theater, and is a student of the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, specializing in their “patter roles.” He has performed professionally in every G&S production except “Princess Ida,” and most of them hundreds of times.
In the mid-1980s, Brian was a founding member of The POPS Chorale, the Select Vocal Ensemble of Cincinnati POPS Orchestra and appeared regularly under the direction of Erich Kunzel, Conductor and Keith Lockhart, Associate Conductor. Erich Kunzel set the standards for American Pop Orchestras and Keith Lockhart is now the conductor and musical director at the Boston Pops.
While with the Cincinnati POPS, Brian sang on two of the Cincinnati POPS special recordings: “Amen! A Gospel Celebration” which was nominated for a Grammy as Best Gospel album of the Year and “Young at Heart” which featured Mel Torme. While singing with the POPS, Brian had the remarkable good fortune to perform with some of the world’s very best artists including Mitch Miller, Henry Mancini, The Smothers Brothers, Andy Williams, Cab Calloway, Rosemary Clooney, Kathleen Battle and many, many more.
Brian now devotes most of his singing to Music Ministry in Churches throughout the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Between 1985 and 1991, he was principal cantor and member of the select chamber choir for the Archdiocese Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains. Most recently Brian was invited to join the Music Ministry at Holy Angels Parish in Dayton, Ohio where he, his wife Susan, and his son Benjamin and daughter Brigid – both proud Singing Thunderhawk Alumni – attended.
Brian attended Ohio University where he received his BFA in Theatre and Vocal Performance in 1982 and then an interdisciplinary studies master’s degree in business & Journalism, with a special emphasis on communication and marketing for the fine and performing arts from the Graduate Studies Honors College in 1985. He lives in Fairfield, Ohio with his wife Susan.