Mayor Terri Brown decided to join the Marshall City Commission in 2017 for one main reason; she wanted a way to give back.
Brown was born and raised in Marshall, spending 40 years in the local banking industry, 20 of which have been spent with her current employer Vera Bank.
“The way I saw it was it was a way for me to do a little bit of good in Marshall,” Brown said.
She was no stranger to volunteer work, previously chairing the annual Fireant Festival, serving on the Greater Marshall Chamber of Commerce board and chairing the Law Enforcement and Firefighter Appreciation Banquet among many other things.
“I’m a people person, I love talking to people. One on my favorite things to talk to people about when I meet them is Marshall because I just love promoting this town, we have so much to offer here,” Brown said.
She remembered one instance meeting an older couple at Central Perks who said they were interested in moving to Marshall.
“I mean I wasted no time, I started telling them about everything there was to do in town, about the schools and even some local realtors they could talk to,” Brown said. “This was before I was even on the commission; it’s something I have always done. I love to make Marshall shine.”
She said that running for city commission is a lot of work, for a volunteer position, so it takes someone who truly cares about their community to get involved.
“I mean I spent my own money, I went door to door canvassing and talking with people about what they want and need,” Brown said.
And, she explained, it doesn’t stop there. She said one of the things she is most proud of as a commissioner is that she returns every phone call she gets.
“Sometimes when I am working I’ll get calls and I will have to tell people I am on bank time but that I can talk to them about their issue later, and I will always call them back after I get done with work,” she said. “To be good at this type of job you have to be a good listener and you have to be receptive to what the community wants to tell you.”
Outside of working for her community and her job at Vera Bank, Brown said that she enjoys spending time with her husband, and their dog Hero.
The couple raises bucking horses and competes in rodeos with them across the area.
Brown also has a number of nieces and nephews she’s close with, and enjoys spending time with her family.
“I just love giving my time and serving with my fellow commissioners,” Brown said. “I just care very deeply about this town and it motivated me to do everything I could.”
She said that if anyone is interested in getting involved in local government, her best advice is simply to start small and start volunteering for things.
“When I first started I was overwhelmed, there’s so much to learn and I thought I would be okay but girl, I knew nothing,” she said.
But it was through staying dedicated to the job, constantly working to learn more about what she was doing and staying up to date on what the city was working on that she was able to excel as mayor.
“You can start with a position on a committee and get knowledgeable about the town and the issues,” she said. “Be sure to ask questions about what you don’t understand and don’t stop learning.”