Special Olympians, Central High, have a part of Gene Brown's heartBy BILL SMITH
New Hampshire Union Leader
January 26. 2014 8:13AM
Gene Brown, 29Home: Manchester
Family: Dad: Gene; mom, Bonnie; younger brother, Tyler
High school: Manchester High School Central
College/post grad degrees: ; Bachelor of arts in legal studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Current job: Sales representative for Surgi-Care, Inc. I've been working here since I graduated college back in 2007, selling medical implants and devices in the operating room, working closely with orthopedic surgeons and health care professionals.
Key past positions held: Central Football Captain, 2002, undefeated state champs; member of the 2003 Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl Football Team; swimming coach, Special Olympics NH
Volunteer activities: Organizes and runs the annual "Ugly Christmas Sweater Party" that benefits Make A Wish NH and charities such as CHaD (Children's Hospital at Dartmouth) and Safe Sports; president of the Central Football Alumni and Grid Iron Club
Most admired person (outside your family): Dan Duval. He overcame so much, yet helped and inspired so many. Whenever I feel down or stressed, I think about Coach Duval. My negative feelings usually change and I find myself smiling or laughing.
Key current professional challenge: Trying to please each and every customer I have. When dealing with multiple accounts and clients it's hard to grasp or accept that I inevitably won't satisfy everyone, completely. All I can do is my best and what's right – service comes first. The owners of my company and my manager make me well aware of this. If I follow this mindset, then everything will eventually work out and fall into place.
Last major achievement: Raising over $15,000 for charity from the 9th annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Party – December, 2013; hitting my Stryker sales quota for 2013
Biggest problem facing New Hampshire: When speaking to people about problems facing New Hampshire, many seem to point at the issue of younger New Hampshire natives not returning to live and work in their home state after graduating from college. I agree with this, however, I feel there's another problem – and it isn't what younger generations are doing by leaving; it's what they aren't doing when they stay. The unfortunate truth about life is that we aren't around forever. Generations age and eventually are no longer here. There are so many wonderful groups, clubs, and networks that have been formed, maintained, and operated throughout New Hampshire for decades. The Kiwanis Club, Safe Sports, YMCA, Queen City Rotary, local Boys & Girls Clubs, even something as simple as an alumni or grid iron club for your high school. The torch is being passed, the time is ours, and if we, the leaders of our generation, don't step in and continue, these wonderful programs will ultimately cease to exist. I encourage the younger minds still in New Hampshire to seek out these organizations and help keep them going. If you don't want to join, start your own for a cause – it can be as simple as local volunteer and community work. In this ever-growing digital social world we live in, find ways to "actively" contribute to society. Attend meetings, show face and share your thoughts. A text message donation is a far cry of what your mind and actions can do.
Favorite place in New Hampshire: Portsmouth
What book are you reading now? "The Monster of Florence"
How do you relax? I go to the gym almost daily for health and as a stress relief. I try to read and cook in my free time to relax. I also don't mind catching up on popular TV series on Netflix.
What websites do you visit most often? Google/ Wikipedia – I search for an answer to everything I don't know.
Favorite TV show, radio station or musical artist: Discovery, National Geographic, and Science channels; Red Hot Chili Peppers
Manchester's Gene Brown, 29, created an Internet business, coached special needs children, help organize a fundraising golf tournament for his leukemia-stricken brother and was the driving force behind creation of an annual Christmas party that grew to a fundraiser for the Make-a -Wish Foundation.
Then he graduated from college.
Brown was recently named a sales representative for Surgi-Care, the Massachusetts-based distributor of surgical and sports medicine supplies and equipment.
"When I graduated college, I was just a kid out of Manchester, I didn't know what I was going to do," Brown said. "I was doing some substitute teaching at the Beech Street School"
A family friend who was involved in medical sales suggested Surgi-Care. In November 2007, he began as an assistant in its sports medicine business, helping fit knee braces and other devices and teaching patients how to wear them.
He moved to a sales associate role.
"We're there to kind of oversee all of our equipment once it gets opened, we're kind of a second set of eyes for the tech handing the surgeon what he needs," Brown said. "Back when I was learning, it was basically just seeing everything, basically in the operating room non-stop, asking questions, learning from doctors."
Surgi-Care and manufacturers it represents also provided extensive training.
A lot of people taking on the assistant's role are former athletes, said Brown who fits into that category. He's not only an athlete, but an athlete who suffered a serious injury to his shoulder during his playing days.
The son of Manchester Memorial hall of famer Gene Brown, Geno Brown was a member of three state championship teams at Manchester High School Central and was a multiple all-state selection in football. He went on to play college ball at the University of Massachusetts, where he started an Internet book-trading business for students who didn't want to pay bookstore prices.
He credits the lessons of his athletics career with helping him stand out among other candidates for a major promotion.
"At Surgi-Care we always pride ourselves on our teamwork," Brown said. "It's dedication and constantly applying yourself like most athletes do." The self-described "kid from Manchester" hasn't forgotten his roots. As a high school freshman he began coaching Special Olympics swimmers. Later he and his family created a successful fundraising event for his younger brother Kyle, who was stricken with leukemia, but is now doing well.
He has taken a leadership role in the Little Green Football Club, which supports Central football. He helps run an annual Ugly Sweater Christmas Party which raised $15,000 for Make-a-Wish foundation last year.