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Simpkins Series Speaker Shares Tragedy-to-Triumph Story

November 19, 2015 - Making a six-figure salary for a corporation did not lead Brant Menswar to his understanding of success.

His 15-year-old son’s fight for life against a rare blood disease and the efforts of those who helped him survive did.

The ordeal caused Menswar to change careers and become Chief Experience Officer for Banding People Together, a motivational consulting group that uses rock stars, hit songwriters and collaboration experts to help organizations and their people succeed.

Simpkins Speaker Brant Menswar

Menswar brought his inspirational story Thursday to about 400 students at the King Center for the Performing Arts on the Melbourne campus, telling them to look inside themselves and think about the positive impact they can have on others.

“The collaboration of the people who saved my son’s life is what left the biggest mark on me,” said Menswar at the Simpkins Business Seminar for Entrepreneurial Development at Eastern Florida State College.

“Being a successful entrepreneur means that we recognize that we leave a mark on others and that they leave a mark on us.”

With an acoustic guitar, singing and comedy, Menswar entertained and informed the students for nearly an hour.

“I’m very glad I came today,” said student Jo Ann Johnson. “I like that he talked about vulnerability as a source of strength. I took a lot of notes from his presentation and plan to share it with my Organizational Business class.”

Now an award winning singer-songwriter, Menswar is best known for fronting the acclaimed band Big Kettle Drum.

His work has also influenced the culture of companies like ESPN, Microsoft, Cisco, Sony Pictures, Hard Rock International, Hilton and others.

Locally, he’s the founding co-pastor of Nomad Community Church in Melbourne and serves on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Home Society of Brevard.

EFSC Simpkins Scholarship recipient Connor PostAs part of Thursday’s program, the founder of the lecture series, Bernard Simpkins, awarded a $1,000 scholarship to student Conner Post, who started his own electronics repair business at age 12.

Post is studying computer science at Eastern Florida and hopes to work for a U.S. government agency in cyber security.

“The scholarship means a great deal to me and lets me know the community is behind me,” said Post. “I’ve always been interested in computer software and hardware, and I know that cyber security is the future of protecting computer systems.”