Brent HinsonAge: 36

Occupation: City Administrator – City of Washington

What is your greatest professional achievement: I was heavily involved in an effort to construct a new recreation center in my previous community of Garner. The community had tried, and failed, several times over a 25-year period to get something moving forward. Through the right combination of political timing, support of elected and other community officials, and financial resources, I was able to assist in steering a process that led to the construction of a high-quality, operationally sustainable recreation center in a period of less than three years from the initiation of planning to facility opening.

Who are your mentors: There are many wonderful people in Washington who have been helpful to me, but I look at them more as trusted colleagues than mentors. I’d especially like to thank our economic development director, Ed Raber, for all his assistance. I am also fortunate to have numerous city management colleagues in the region I can turn to for advice and support.

Best advice you ever received: “Don’t take it personally, even when it is meant that way.” This is still a challenge for me, since I really try to work with people and believe strongly in what I’m doing, so it’s hard when they don’t appreciate those aspects.

What is your biggest passion: It is probably a thirst for knowledge. The more you know, the more you discover there is to know. I read a great deal in my free time, and typically focus on reading for knowledge.

What would most people be surprised to learn about you: I’m a huge music fan, and have developed very specific tastes, mostly revolving around folk, country and blues. The two concerts I’ve made it to in the past year were the Drive-By Truckers and Justin Townes Earle.