CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHY

Meet Brandon Chapman

img

Many folks in Ward 3 already know me. But for those of you who don’t, here’s a little more about who I am.

I’m just a guy who loves my family, loves what I do for a living, and loves my community. Why am I running for City Council? I think I’d do a good job at getting more folks in Pullman’s Ward 3 engaged in the city and its issues.

img

Hey, I’m Brandon Chapman, but people have affectionately called me “Chappy” since my high school baseball days.

I’m a husband, and father of four boys. Yes, as a matter of fact, our house does feel like a locker room sometimes.

My wife Sarah and I were married young, and when I was an undergrad at WSU, we lived off-campus, close to Lawson Gardens. While I did my studies, she was a surgical tech at Gritman Medical Center in Moscow.

We saw this city for more than just the university. She and I made the decision to move back to Pullman for a reason: it’s a great place to raise a family!

I’m currently the Pullman Youth Baseball Association president. I’m also an active member of Kiwanis.

I’m a former professional baseball play-by-play broadcaster. I’m currently the communications and marketing director for WSU’s College of Education.

I’m a proud Eagle Scout. I speak fluent Spanish.

I like to jokingly tell my wife, in the words of Ron Burgundy, that I’m “kinduva big deal.” But I only say it in jest.

I also wish I could point to something trendy here, such as being a food connoisseur, but the fact is, I inhale my food too quickly to know the difference.

Community Involvement

img
Since moving to Pullman, I have been a head baseball coach for Pullman Youth Baseball, and in addition, began last season serving as PYBA’s board president. I’m also an active member of Kiwanis, which has not only allowed me to meet a lot of great community leaders, but also learn a lot about businesses and not-for-profit organizations on the Palouse. I spent some time with PHS Boosters, and, for two years, led a mentoring group for high school juniors. I currently serve on the Board of Adjustment, which I’ve enjoyed. If I’m successfully elected, I’ll have to step down from being on that board.

OK, this is all well and good, but out of context, they’re simply resume-building items. So, the real question is why? Why do I take part in these things? I’ve always felt true community is when people of varying ideas, opinions, and backgrounds can all come together for a common purpose. My first-hand experience in this was like a modern-day barn-raising, based in necessity. My family moved from Olympia to Centralia, right at the end of middle school. Shortly thereafter, Centralia got hit with one of their 100-year floods that comes every 15-20 years. There were places in town where volunteers from all over the place were filling sandbags, in the dark, under as much artificial light as we could find. My family, thankfully, did not live in the flood zone. We showed our gratitude by going in the rain to fill sandbags. Hour after hour, I took part in holding bags as all these full-grown adults shoveled. People would drive up, desperate to get bags to save their homes and businesses. It wasn’t a hardship, at all, to spend all that time in the cold rain, knowing it was helping other people. No doubt, much was lost in that flood. But had so many people not rallied together in this time of need, it could have been a lot worse.

To be clear, we do not have to wait for something bad to happen to show that same spirit, though. It’s the reason I’ll take some of my sons out to folks in our neighborhood who I know can’t physically shovel snow or pay to have someone else do it. No thanks is ever necessary. Most don’t even know it’s us doing it. It doesn’t matter. We just do it, then move on to the next. Are we not all the better for it? People taking a walk will stay safe, and the homeowners lower their liability and worry. To me, that is community.

Personal Life

img
My wife Sarah and I have been married since Dec. 2001. Since then, we have had four wonderful boys. After Sarah’s dad passed away in 2012, and we moved to Pullman in 2013, Sarah’s mom, Margaret Werre (pronounced “Weary”) moved in with us. We also have two dogs, Jadyn and Diesel. It’s a very full house!

Margaret is a retired operating nurse, and in the middle of December, 2016, was appointed to fill a vacant seat for the Pullman Regional Hospital Board of Directors.

My wife is a stay-at-home mom. Our kids are:

  • Sterling, who is 12 and in 7th grade at LMS. He is an incredible swimmer, is really into the outdoors (he loves watching Man vs. Wild), and is advancing in the Boy Scouts rather quickly.
  • Hyrum, who is 9 and in 4th grade at Franklin. Hyrum is more athletically inclined than his brothers, it appears, and loves baseball. But we really appreciate his caring spirit, often concerned about how others feel and are treated.
  • Jonah, who is 7 and in 2nd grade at Franklin. Jonah likes soccer, and a myriad of other things, though he’s still figuring out what he truly enjoys.
  • James, who is 5 and in preschool with Parks & Rec. We call him “Sweet Baby James.” Like a lot of youngest siblings, he’s had to learn how to hold his own. He’s the life of the party usually, and, quite frankly, we’re glad he hasn’t gotten seriously hurt working as his brothers’ stunt double on a lot of bad ideas.

As a family we go to church on Sundays and hold leadership and mentoring roles within. We also play a lot of sports throughout the week, have crazy dance competitions in our living room on a whim, and in the summer time, take as many Saturdays as we can during to take the boat out (we like to just go tubing on the Snake River, usually by Wawawai Landing).

We absolutely love Pullman. Each and every one of us. My kids often leave their bikes out by the road (even though they’ve been told not to 1.5 billion times), and in the morning, they’re always still there. As my son pointed out, that would not be the case where we used to live. We all appreciate that and can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Education

img
I feel blessed that I was raised in a family that valued education. My paternal grandfather was an art and pottery instructor at Lassen Community College in North California for years. My dad earned a master’s degree in education, and has taught and been a dean at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia since 1987.  My mom has been an early childhood educator for just as long (everyone in Centralia knows “Teacher Bobbi” from Fiddlesticks).

Every year, during annual giving campaigns, it always hits my pocket book because I attended three colleges!

Centralia College
I graduated from Centralia College with my AA in Radio/TV. It was a fantastic opportunity to get hands-on experience in what I wanted to do with my life. I was a writer and sports editor of the blue & gold student newspaper. I was an on-air deejay for the student radio station (KCED), as well as have a sports talk show. I did play-by-play of almost every men’s and women’s basketball game, as well as baseball and softball. Some of those games were also on local access TV. At the end of my two years at Centralia, I was selected by the scholarship committee to be the recipient of the WSU-Community College President’s Award. What an honor! I owe so much to Centralia College, and every time I go back to Centralia to see my parents, I always stop in and see those key people from my past who helped shape me at Centralia College.

Washington State University
You never forget the first time you’re on the Palouse. I knew the broadcast journalism program at WSU was a good one, and I had made the decision to apply before I had ever set foot in Pullman. In fact, the first time I drove down the Davis Way hill wasn’t even so I could check out the university. I had already been accepted! It was actually so my wife could interview for her job at Gritman Medical Center in Moscow. But once I went into the quaint little town, I loved it. I double majored at WSU, in both broadcast journalism and Spanish. I was a sports editor, columnist, and features writer for The Daily Evergreen, and won several regional awards. While still in school I wrote Cougar football for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. There’s an 84 percent chance that I was not the reason the paper folded. I also did extensive basketball and baseball play-by-play through KUGR, where I was also the assistant sports director. I did an on-air internship with KMAX in Colfax, and had the chance to cover a few city council meetings. While at WSU, I took a few broadcast courses from our mayor Glenn Johnson. Some of my friends from WSU continued in broadcasting, including my radio partner Ana Cabrera (CNN). I certainly loved my time at WSU. Go Cougs!

Syracuse University
When I got accepted into Syracuse for broadcasting, I wasn’t going to miss out on the chance to go. Syracuse is the top broadcasting school in the nation, especially for sports. Many of the biggest names came from there: Bob Costas, Marv Albert, Mike Tirico, Dick Stockton, Sean McDonough… I’ll stop before I really start nerding out! I was able to refine my craft from some really good professors like Frank Currier, who spent almost 20 years doing Eye on America for CBS. I enjoyed being a reporter, and, for the first time, experienced the strategy of producing. It was a thrill. I was able to be a TV segment producer for a news magazine program. But I continued refining my play-by-play craft, specifically with baseball. Syracuse doesn’t have a university baseball team so I did all games, both home and road, for Cicero-North Syracuse High School. Again, I’m so proud of many of my fellow grad students who have done very well. Ask me about them sometime, I love to brag on their behalf!