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Passion for wildlife a big part of Sheridan Brown's law practice
Sheridan Brown, 39Home: Grantham
Family: Wife, Debra; mother, Carolyn; sister, Holly; cat, Vader
High school: Southeastern New Hampshire Christian Academy, Somersworth
College/post grad degrees: B.A., political science, University of New Hampshire; J.D., Suffolk University Law School
Current job: Attorney at law and government relations consultant, Law Office of Sheridan T. Brown, PLLC
Key past positions held: Projects assistant, U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu, 2003-2009; constituent services specialist, Congressman John E. Sununu, 1999-2003
Volunteer activities: Grantham Conservation Commission, member; Grantham Zoning Board of Adjustment, alternate; Newport Rotary, president-elect; N.H. Audubon, policy committee member and bald eagle monitor; Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust, outreach committee member.
Most admired person (outside your family): Anyone who finds the intersection of their passions and abilities and works within it to improve their community. Locally, Mike Bartlett, the president of N.H. Audubon, is a great example. It only takes a few minutes speaking with Mike to realize that he absolutely loves his work. Dig deeper and you find out that he has never lost sight of his goals throughout a lengthy career in public service, and he is doing what he always wanted to do. Mike's perpetually upbeat personality and ability to inspire others, along with his many other skills, has made him incredibly effective on behalf of wildlife and people – and a role model to me.
Key current professional challenge: As it is for many solo practitioners, securing new clients while working with limited time and funds for "marketing" is a professional challenge for me. In law and lobbying, clients are still largely secured through word-of-mouth referrals and long-term reputation. So, my emphasis is on doing high-quality work for my clients and giving back to my community rather than online tweets and posts. It is a formula that has served me well throughout my life and has been personally fulfilling.
Last major achievement: Earlier this year, I coordinated the successful efforts of the Loon Preservation Committee and N.H. Lakes Association to pass legislation adequately protecting our state's loons from toxic lead fishing sinkers and jigs. It was tremendously rewarding to be a part of a broad team effort that brought biologists, volunteers, a bipartisan team of legislators, and the governor together to address the largest known cause of N.H. adult loon mortality.
Biggest problem facing New Hampshire: Finding New Hampshire's next generation of community and environmental stewards. The Granite State is a special place because of its engaged and generous citizenry, and it is always heartening to see stories of our children's charitable endeavors (e.g., kids who ask for animal shelter contributions instead of birthday gifts). Still, as children become more plugged in to electronics and disconnected from the world around them, many children seem to be growing up without an appreciation for nature or community. This is why I believe New Hampshire Audubon's work to connect children to nature (which encourages healthy physical, emotional, and spiritual development) is vitally important.
Favorite place in New Hampshire: The North Country, specifically, Pittsburg, and Pondicherry National Wildlife Refuge in Jefferson and Whitefield.
What book are you reading now? "I am Malala" by Malala Yousufzai, the remarkable young Pakistani woman who was shot by the Taliban for standing up for the education of girls. Fortunately, she survived and is continuing her courageous efforts.
How do you relax? Bird and insect watching, reading, photography, gardening, hiking, cross-country skiing, building puzzles, and watching Bruins hockey.
What websites do you visit most often? The Union Leader (unionleader.com), WMUR (wmur.com), Wall Street Journal (wsj.com), Cornell Lab of Ornithology (allaboutbirds.org), Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff.org); Boston Bruins Official Site (bostonbruins.com), TSN (tsn.ca) – a Canadian sports site with the best professional hockey coverage, and Lexis Nexis (www.lexis.com).
Favorite TV show, radio station or musical artist: Favorite TV show: "American Pickers;" Favorite musical artist: James Taylor
Most recently Brown led a successful effort with the Loon Preservation Committee and N.H. Lakes Association to pass legislation to protect loons from toxic lead fishing sinkers and jigs. He also worked to successfully defeat a bill that would have allowed the taking of wild owls for falconry reasons.
Brown said he logged a lot of pro bono hours on both efforts but was thrilled to put his attorney and policy-writing skills to work for causes he is so passionate about as well as to be part of the efforts of so many other passionate volunteers.
"I was lucky I grew up in a household where my grandmother lived in the house for her later years, and she and my mother always made sure I got pushed out of the house to play outside," Brown said. "I've always since I was a kid had an interest in wildlife and nature, particularly in bugs and birds."
And through day trips with his mother to state parks and beach and horse barns across the state, Brown gained a deep appreciation for the Granite State.
After attending Southeastern New Hampshire Christian Academy in Somersworth, Brown went on to earn a B.A. in political science from the University of New Hampshire and a law degree from Suffolk University Law School.
Before starting his own law practice, he worked for U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu from 1999 to 2009 first as a constituent services specialist and then as projects assistant.
Along with his private practice, Brown also works as a government relations consultant.
Two years ago Brown and his wife, Debra, moved from Concord to Grantham where Brown has taken numerous opportunities to get involved in his new community. He serves on the Grantham Conservation Commission and Grantham Zoning Board of Adjustment and is president of the Newport Rotary.
He volunteers as a member of the policy committee and bald eagle monitor for the N.H. Audubon. He is also an outreach committee member for the Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust.
Nominations for Class of 2015
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