Organic chemistry changes scholar’s career path

Published 1:50 pm Thursday, April 13, 2023

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By Nikki O’Brien

Davie Community Foundation

Brad Corriher has certainly not forgotten his Davie County roots since graduating in 2006.

He earned the Crosby Scholarship from the Davie Community Foundation and attended Duke University.

While in high school, Brad thought he wanted to be an optometrist but organic chemistry decided on his behalf that ophthalmology school was not on his to-do list any longer. He said “we just didn’t see eye to eye.”

Brad had a passion for history and pursued the field of being a professor. He grew up in a two-teacher household, so he has always been connected to education.

After graduation, Brad got the opportunity to intern at State Farm corporate headquarters in Illinois. He then got a chance to move back to North Carolina and open his own agency. He now has his own office in Mint Hill, just outside of Charlotte. He married his wife in 2019 and lives just down the road from their office.

“We have a beautiful life, so I’m very fortunate.”

When asked what one or two important lessons he learned to get him to where he is today, he shared the following.

“My dad’s favorite phrase is, ‘If you’re going to be a bear, be a grizzly.’ My mom and I love the Tim McGraw song that says, “Always be humble and kind.” And my wife taught me about how important it is to really listen to someone when they’re talking to you, versus just waiting for your turn to talk. She’s a writer and spends a lot of time doing interviews, so listening is definitely a skill that she has and that she’s helped me develop. I think the world could use more people who really, truly listen to others.

“You don’t need to know who or what you want to become when you graduate high school. That’s okay. That’s normal. But in order to really be successful and to get the most out of life, you need to have a passion that drives you. Even if you don’t make any money from it, there’s no joy in life if you don’t have something that you can fall back on when you’re having a bad day.”

Even though Corriher is not back in Davie, he still calls Davie his home.

“Whether you come back for a day, an hour, or forever, it’s still home. The restaurants or the faces may change, but the sense of family and community is still there. And that’s what drew me back to this area.

“I don’t live in Davie County, but I love being close and being able to take my wife up and show her where I grew up. Interestingly enough, she’s from New York but her uncle grew up in Davie County, too, so the connections are everywhere.”

“The Davie Community Foundation is very proud to hear all of Brad’s accomplishments in his personal life and professional,” said Jane Simpson, president and CEO. “Even though his path did not bring him back home, his roots are true and hold strong to our community. We cannot wait to see where the next 20 years will take you Brad. Thank you for your continued words of wisdom to our Davie youth.”