On Thursday, February 7th, LEADS staff, student-athletes, and students were joined by Mr. Jim Brassord for the first Connection Dinner of the spring 2019 semester. Taking place at Judie’s Restaurant in Amherst Center, selected student-athletes, coaches, and members of the Amherst College community gathered to discuss the idea of choosing to take adventures in life and the extraordinary journey that Mr. Brassord embarked on from Miami to New York City.
The Connection Dinner is an event built specifically to bring a group of eclectic people together to speak about pertinent subjects to the Amherst College community. Listening to one another allows for awareness for others’ perspectives and meaningful dialogue brings engagement to resolving potential issues on campus.
Mr. Jim Brassord is the Chief of Campus Operations at Amherst College. In his role, he stewards the preservation and enhancement of the college’s physical assets and provides operational services to faculty, students, and staff in support of the college’s mission. His departments include, facilities, capital projects, campus police, dining services, environmental health and safety, emergency management, sustainability, the office of administrative services, mail services, and rental housing management. Mr. Brassord loves and embraces everything about the Amherst community, where he has resided for nearly 20 years. During his time in the community, he has been an active board member for the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and the Amherst Business Improvement District.
In September of 2015, Mr. Brassord’s late friend, John P, Musante passed away. To honor his great friend’s passing, Mr. Brassord created the Miami 2 NYC challenge, which he embarked on in May of 2017. This epic adventure consisted of a 1,600-mile single-handed row along the historic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). His vision was to secure critical funds to complete the vision that John P. Musante started – an affordable and accessible health care center. After two months in an 18-foot rowing skiff, Mr. Brassord reached the New York Harbor raising approximately $100,000.
At the Connection Dinner, Mr. Brassord reflected on his time on the water. He spoke about the ways in which he experienced the kindness from others as he navigated the waterways from Miami to New York. His leadership and determination rowing 10-12 hours a day greatly impacted many of the guests who were in attendance. Of course, there were unforeseen challenges such as the unexpected conditions of the ocean and an encounter with an angry manatee, but Mr. Brassord said the endeavor was well worth it and he recommends that others embrace the adventures of life too.
It is our hope that everyone walked away from the dinner learning a little something new and also meeting someone new. The idea of the Connection Dinner is meant to be taken and implemented on campus; always looking to opportunities to meet new people and learn new perspectives from others.
What’s next for Amherst LEADS?
February 10th– Futures Sophomore Cohort to attend All In Adventures (Escape Room)
February 17th– Captains Cohort hosts Alumni Luncheon