You’ve heard people say it takes a village.
Eugene Bradley, the youngest of three growing up in Rochester, N.Y., was raised by a village of family, friends and neighbors. His community set him on a path that brought him to Charlotte Douglas International Airport in 2018 and continues to fuel his drive as our community affairs coordinator.
“I grew up knowing most of our neighbors and in return they provided my family a safe and diverse environment. I firmly believe that community is everything. These are the places that shape who we are, how we think, and where we will go in life.”
After graduating from college with degrees in communications and urban and regional planning, Bradley spent the first part of his career helping communities to revitalize, grow and prosper – all with a foundation of connecting people to services that improve where and how they live.
At CLT since 2018, now he’s focused on a singular mantra: Connections don’t just happen in the terminal.
“My job is to tell the story of how we are growing, why we are growing, and what impact that will have on the local community. We do make a lot of noise. But we also bring 30,000 jobs to the Charlotte region, we provide scholarships to students from this area, and we are supporting organizations that are making a difference in neighborhoods surrounding the Airport. That’s the story I want to tell.”
Bradley is helping neighbors understand what’s happening at the Airport and why – and he often leads CLT’s efforts to support and engage the community.
With a broad, infectious smile, Bradley leads the Airport Neighborhood Committee, a group of neighborhood leaders who meet bi-monthly to talk about concerns or issues and to share ideas. His connection to the group members has led him to seek the group out for feedback on what’s happening at the Airport and the neighboring community.
His background in urban and regional planning means he is well versed in changes happening at the Airport. He just talks about those changes in a different way.
Rather than mentioning the Bojangles', NoDa Brewery and Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar as good options for hungry passengers, he talks about them as locally owned businesses creating jobs for the community.
Bradley, who broadly sees his job as growing CLT’s reputation as a good neighbor, knows community engagement must be a focal point as the Airport continues to grow and expand to meet passenger needs.
“My favorite part of my job is working with community members and providing information on how they can connect with our Airport on several levels. We are a great resource for individuals, families, and organizations surrounding the airport. We are a huge employment center that has and will continue to provide jobs for our local and regional residents. These jobs provide an opportunity to increase a resident’s upper mobility and increase an individual’s overall quality of life.”
It takes a village.