brett be youEvery week I write a column called BE YOU for one of the local papers (The Times of Acadiana) – Each week someone different answers the questionnaire – the paper often has to edit them,  so here are all the answers, unedited (the whole truth.) This week – Brett Mellington

Brett is the Manager of Business Development at LEDA – one of those unsung heroes who works tirelessly for the good of our community. Brett is very proud of both his job, and of his work on the Louisiana Community and Technical College System Board – and he should be. Brett brings a positivity to everyone room he walks into. He gives a high-five to every co-worker at LEDA every morning. How can you not love a man like that? When you meet him give him a high-five, and say thank you for all he does.

What was your first job?
Sweeping out a warehouse of an oil field company in Liberal, Kansas. I was 15 and had to work every Saturday morning.

Describe a typical day in your life.
Working with the amazing LEDA staff to make Lafayette a better place to live and work.

What advice would you give the younger you?
Don’t ever, ever, ever take anything for granted.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?
I was 16 and a sophomore in high school when my dad told us we were moving to Lafayette, Louisiana.  It only took me a couple of weeks to realize that it was the best thing that could have happened to me.

What values do you live by?
Always treat everyone with respect and dignity.
Never give anyone a reason to doubt your integrity.

What do you most appreciate?
Donna, my soulmate and wife of 41 years.

What is your favorite journey?
The drive through Napa and Sonoma valleys then take a right through the majestic Rocky Mountains.

Where is your favorite place to be alone?
In my yard on a warm summer evening.

What living figure most inspires you?
It’s difficult to pick one.  The leaders in our community inspire me and I’m not just talking about our elected and appointed leaders.  There are many who lead in small ways that we don’t see.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
Never look a gift horse in the mouth.  I interpret that to mean always accept the gifts from others (both material and otherwise) graciously and thank them.

What book would you tell everyone to read?
I have read many outstanding and inspiring books but I would suggest “Good to Great”.  I think I highlighted every other sentence.

What is the best thing about where you live?
The amazing people who live here.

How do you “let the good times roll” ?
In my Mazda Miata on a cool evening with the top down, crisp Saturday mornings with my golf buddies at the course and in the Bonaparte parade for Mardi Gras.

What did u want to be when you grew up?
A scientist!  I did it too.

What is your motto?
Live everyday!

How would you like to be remembered?
You could always depend on him as a father and a friend!

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?
Never fear…never quit! I heard this from a speaker Joe Tye years ago and it stuck with me.

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?
Friends, family and my golf clubs (they are always in the trunk of my car).

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Awesome. Think out of the box.

What is your favorite word?
Synenergy…I just made that up since it takes both synergy and energy to make things happen.

What do you collect?
Paper…I have trouble throwing it away.  I also have kept all my concert tickets over the years.

What food could you live on for a month?
Peanut butter.

What would you change about yourself?
Maybe a little more hair on top and a little less spare tire around the middle.

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?
Kevin Costner in Tin Cup.

Describe yourself in five words.
Passionate, involved, team player, artist (it hasn’t fully come out yet), caring

What is your idea of happiness?
Being with my friends and family.

What is your favorite movie?
Pay It Forward.  I think we all need to give back for all we have received.

What music defines who you are?
Sixty and seventies rock, no soul, wait maybe country, classical perhaps.  I guess it’s about 25% of each. It really depends on how I feel at the moment. Right now I’m listening to the Doobie Brothers.

What do you most regret?
Not getting that last merit badge to become an Eagle Scout.

What question do you wish I’d asked?
What is the number one thing on your bucket list?

What would the answer be?
To hold my first grandchild.  I hope to check that one off the list in July.