There are two kinds of people in this world . . . those who wake up before the sun and hit the ground running, and those who take a more leisurely approach to the start of the day. It’s a chilly December Saturday morning and I meet Brian at Mama’s Java at 7:30 am. When setting up this meeting he suggests a meeting time of 7:30 or 8:00 and says “let me know if I’m too early.” I knew right away he and I were cut from the same cloth, and I also knew he was really thinking “I could meet even earlier if you’d like.”
He walks in and orders the day’s featured coffee; the Polar Express Mocha. He admits that he’s easily sold by marketing, and Mama’s approach of featuring a beautiful specialty coffee each morning in the local Facebook group plays right into that characteristic of his. Right away he starts to tell me about how he had never had a sip of coffee in his entire life, but found himself poaching the free wifi when Mama’s Java was operating out of the old Feed Mill. He felt guilty setting up office each day at the feed mill and using the free wifi without bringing them any business. He talks to Melissa, the owner of Mama’s Java, and shares his guilt of this one-sided relationship, explaining that he’s not a coffee person and has never had a sip of it in his life. Melissa, in her generous nature, and brilliant business sense tells Brian “I am going to give you a free cup of coffee everyday until you find a coffee you like.” That strategy paid off as he’s now a regular customer at Mama’s Java.
Who is Brian Snyder?
Brian is a Nolensville native, husband to Ashley and father to two young girls (Maclaine, 8 and Reagan, 6), Account Executive with Eventbrite, Business Owner of Snyder Entertainment, Nolensville Town Politician, Ultra Marathon Runner, and Adventurist. Not only is Brian a Nolensville native, but his entire family lives in Nolensville.
How did Snyder Entertainment Come About?
I did an internship with 107.5 The River, a local radio station years ago, and in that time I was often asked “can you come do events?” Doing events was a new concept to me. I wasn’t real sure what it meant to “come do events.” Through that I came to learn that it meant providing production . . . lighting, audio, video, etc. I started to respond to that opportunity in 2000 on a very part-time basis. I would provide production for weddings and corporate events part-time with a goal of six events a year. That’s where Snyder Entertainment started. Fast-forward to 2016 and we now do about 400 events, and we are the exclusive partner with Mint Springs Farms. We have Brad Ford who handles the corporate piece of the business, and Jenny McGee who runs the wedding side of the business, we have about 7 DJs, and we have several photobooths too.
Tell me about your internship with Woody & Jim on 107.5 The River
I was their first intern. It was such a great and fun experience. In radio there are two types of people . . . gypsies; they move from station to station and town to town, and the extremely loyal; those who stay at the same station for years. Woody & Jim have had an extremely long and successful run with 107.5 The River. Intening with them was the start to what is now my livelihood, and for that I’m so grateful. I have such respect for those guys and continue to stay close with them today.
How did you get involved in town politics?
My first daughter was born in 2008 and at that time I realized that I wanted my children to learn to be involved in things, so I had to set that example. I ran for Alderman in 2008 for the first time and I lost that year, but losing was the best thing that could happen to me. I was invited to be on my first committee and I stayed very involved in attending meetings, etc. Through that I was asked to finish Ken Thomas’ term in 2009. Then I ran again 2010 and 2014 and won both times. I’ve served on the Town Events Committee, The Economic Committee, and the Emergency Disaster Committee.
I became very passionate about community gatherings, and out of that passion came the North Pole Experience. We just hosted that at Town Hall last week and it was our third year. It has grown every year.
Tell me the greatest lesson you’ve learned in life
The last three years have been the most humbling for me. I left a 12 year career with Dell three years ago on the same day that my wife also left her dental job so we could start Snyder Entertainment. From this experience I have learned that whenever you truly love something, you watch your reality come true rather than watching life dictate your reality for you.
What stupid human tricks do you have?
I have finger toes. I have freakishly long skinny toes, and I remember the first time my wife ever noticed it. She dropped something on the floor and I picked it up with my foot and handed it to her as though my foot was another hand.
What has been your biggest failure in life?
Not enjoying the moment. Kids have made me realize how fast life goes. I used to worry about having a job and what tomorrow holds. I couldn’t enjoy the moment. Now I’m so much less worried about tomorrow and really focused on enjoying today . . . maybe to a fault.
What’s next for Brian and how do you possibly fit it all in between running a successful business, having a family, being a town politician and working a second job?
I like to do about two ultra marathons a year and my next big adventure is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in March. To get it all in, I wake up early. My wife also loves to workout, so we divide the week up. She takes Monday, Wednesday, Friday for her workouts and I take Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. I get up early and get it done before I have to tend to anything else.
In meeting with Brian, you can’t help but be infected with his radiant, positivity. He has a certain fire within him that will ignite fires in everyone he encounters. It’s no wonder he has had such success in life. After interviewing him, I reached out to Woody (of Woody & Jim) to see if the radio duo would have anything they’d like to share about Brian. He instantly came back with “Brian was our first intern and he was awesome! We have some fun stories about Brian.” Unfortunately, due to the timing of this article and their busy schedules we were not able to coordinate with such short timing to get more details about those stories . . . or maybe that was an excuse they made in Brian’s best interest . . . you be the judge.