Meet Our Vice President, Client Solutions: Interview with Harmony Healthcare’s Brandon Martin
Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Henryville, Indiana a small town of 3,000 people located 20 miles north of Louisville. My grandparents were farmers, so a big part of my youth was spent learning the value of hard work and being outdoors enjoying everything from riding horses to hitting golf balls with no fear of hitting the neighbor. The best way to describe the town would be Mayberry (the fictitious community that was the setting for The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D.) Mayberry with a mix of Hoosier Hysteria and ultra-competitive people. Hoosier Hysteria is the state of excitement surrounding basketball in Indiana. My dad and I have a joke, no small town has ever produced more geniuses. A funny way of describing the level of conviction people have with their opinions. If you said you could do something, you best be able to as I can’t count how many times bold statements were countered with wagers. Grown men running timed 100-yard dashes or trying to bench press a certain weight for $500 with a dozen onlookers waiting to rub it in or pay up. Was this childish? Yes. Hilarious? Yes. But I’m grateful for learning those qualities.
How did you get to Tampa?
When I finished at Butler, my initial goal was to work for Eli Lilly. I needed some B2B sales experience prior to applying so I took the first sales job I interviewed for which was selling credit card processing door to door. 18 months and thousands of No Soliciting shouts later, a good friend from college let me know he had an opening at his company. He had relocated to Tampa right after school and sold it as a free trip to Tampa regardless of my interest level. I had never been to Tampa and the idea of a free vacation was very enticing considering it was winter in Indiana and free was all I could afford. I fell in love with the city and the prospect of selling over the phone with a salary compared to pounding the streets for straight commission was too good to pass up. I packed my 1998 Buick Riviera with my clothes and drove down a month later.
What do you do at Harmony?
I am our Vice President of Client Solutions. A big part of my day is focused on teaching others to do what I did initially; business development, managing those engagements and growing relationships. You might get a different answer from the team, but I’d like to think my job is being who I need to be in order to help the team grow. That can mean inspiring someone to do more or holding them accountable. This business can be a roller coaster emotionally, especially early on. I know the X’s and O’s are extremely important, but I am also learning how important the emotional coaching can be. I guess in short you could say I’m part coach and part counselor.
Growing up, what did you want to be?
Michael Jordan or another version that was the same basketball player and could hit the curve in baseball. It’s a little sad when I think about how old I was when it dawned on me, I needed a backup plan. Until the age of 13 or 14, I was certain I would be a professional basketball and baseball player. To give some perspective of confidence, I realized the major league baseball and basketball schedules conflicted nearly half the year. So not only was I going to be good enough to play two professional sports, I was going to be so good the teams would be ok with me only playing half the year. I guess it’s also a little sad in hindsight, I listened to people explaining their reality to me and justified not pursuing the dream. Never giving up on your dreams is something I really try to stress to my kids now while simultaneously living 100% vicariously through them.
What do you do for fun?
I still love playing any kind of sport possible except for hockey and that’s only because I can’t skate. The football pads have been traded in for golf clubs and I’m finding my preference for which sport depends on how I’ll feel the next day more so than ever. If I’m choosing between tennis or ping pong, break out the table! My kids are now seven and eight, and as the competition level increases my emotional involvement rises exponentially. Outside of athletics, I read just about everything I can or have time for. One of my favorite books is The Alchemist. At the beginning of every year, it’s the first book I read. And every year it reads differently or at least my takeaways are different.
Name one completely useless thing you’re good at.
I know 90 percent of the area codes. I guess to an extent it’s not completely useless for my job, but outside of my job it’s worthless. That’s probably my best carnival trick so to speak. Another random thing is Connect 4, I had almost forgotten my days of elementary school Connect 4 supremacy. My poor kids brought the game home and are now zero for lifetime against dad.
Of all the cities you’ve been to, which did you connect with most? Why?
The first city that comes to mind is San Diego. I was a college sophomore and we played the University of San Diego in football. It was my first trip to California, and it was just so different from anything I had experienced. First just the scenery; the school cafeteria overlooked a beautiful gorge, my first time seeing the Pacific Ocean, and it didn’t hurt watching coed’s roller blade to class in halter tops. I had always heard, California cool, but experiencing it first hand is the only way to understand. Coming from Indiana, it was the first time I realized that there was so much I hadn’t seen. San Diego opened my eyes.
Favorite TV show of all time.
Seinfeld, brilliantly written and hilarious. I think I know most of the episodes by heart, but that doesn’t stop me from watching regardless.