Bryant recognized for dedication to chamber, supporting small businesses

Published 9:05 am Saturday, January 27, 2024

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Financial services professional Bret Bryant is continuing to serve the community of LaGrange by offering a helping hand and a smiling face to everyone he meets. 

Bryant, a graduate of Troy University and the University of West Georgia, began his career in education. He was a principal for the Troup County School System for over 14 years. 

After being referred by a friend, in 2018, Bryant sought a career in the field of finance with New York Life Securities, using skills he had learned from handling finances as a school administrator. Bryant said one of the primary reasons he joined the company was for the opportunity to minister to others through his work.

Unfortunately, within a year of starting his new role, Bryant tragically lost his wife. She had encouraged him to pursue his newly found career.

“I received my office on Main Street here in the Abbott building in LaGrange, and then my wife died in October 2018,” Bryant said. “She didn’t even get to see the business card. Everything was just happening so fast, and I was still learning a brand new career.”

Bryant explained firsthand how he had to go through the same experience that many of his clients also had to navigate. 

“It was very surreal,” Bryant said. “Here I am in this life insurance protection business, and now I am needing it myself.” 

However, in the midst of experiencing a pivotal loss, Bryant remained strong, pushing himself further to better serve the community. 

After being in business for three years, Bryant joined the LaGrange-Troup Chamber of Commerce and was eventually asked to serve as a diplomat by a member of the chamber. 

Since becoming a chamber member, Bryant has helped to support the small business community in LaGrange, offering advice and showing up to nearly every ribbon-cutting event. 

“I’m developing strong relationships,” Bryant said. “We’re asking how we can support one another. You really get to know good people.”

Bryant credits his love for the small business community to his parents, who were also small business owners.

“My parents were business owners, so I grew up in small business, and I’ve seen that sacrifice firsthand,” Bryant said. “My parents worked those 14 and 16 hour days, so I grew up in that environment. Now that I am a small business owner, I go to all these ribbon cuttings because I just think small businesses are the backbone of our community.”

As a result of his hard work and dedication to the chamber and to the LaGrange community, Bryant was honored at the Chairman’s Gala Award Ceremony, winning the Otto Korth Diplomat of the Year award.

“I don’t really have the words to say it, but it was a humbling experience,” Bryant said. “I really wish that my wife could’ve seen it.”