Denise Brinson, Assistant City Manager

It’s impossible to have a boring conversation with Denise Brinson. She is smart, articulate, funny, and one of the many people who have helped shape Suwanee into the thriving city it has become. You will often find her out on the town having a pizza and enjoying one of the many local events.

 

What inspired you or led you to your current career?
I moved here in 1998. I worked for Florida Power and got laid off, and my husband and I wanted to move closer to one of our parents, either in Michigan or here, and we chose the warmer climate here. I walked into the City of Duluth and met the planning director, who later became the city manager, who was looking for someone to do an annexation project to help bring companies to the city. He then met with other city planners including Suwanee and they hired me on a contract basis in finance. About 10 months later a full-time position became available and I was hired as the Economic Development Manager. So it all just evolved. I never thought I would work in city government! I think I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

 

What is your favorite restaurant in Suwanee and what do you love there?
Mellow Mushroom because of the atmosphere, trivia night, sitting on the patio and watching our children in the park. We know the servers, and enjoy seeing people we know in the community who frequent there.

 

How long have you worked or lived in Suwanee?
20 years

 

What has kept you here?
The type of work that I do, the people I work with, the way things are run.

 

How big is your family?
My family is my husband, daughter, son and a dog named Titan.

 

Who is the most interesting person you’ve met in Suwanee?
Whitney Brooks of Mellow Mushroom, a young woman who calls trivia there and also does standup comedy. She is going back to school, grew up here, and she is very interested in what is going on in the city.  

 

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Australia and New Zealand. It’s beautiful.

 

What is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
Slap Shot with my father.

 

What advice would you give a crowd of people?
When opportunity presents itself, say yes.  

 

What is something on your bucket list?
I don’t have a formal bucket list, but I would like to give a TED Talk.

 

If you could take anyone to lunch (dead or alive) who would that be and where would you go?
Oprah, Pink, and Seth Godin and we would go to La Belle Vie or Umaido Noodle House.  

 

What is your favorite music?  Name three bands you would like to see.
Trendy pop. I would like to have seen The Beatles, U2, and Katy Perry.

 

What local business makes you the most nostalgic about Suwanee?
Ippolitos and Dick Cunningham because he moved his restaurant here when the park was built, wanting to be part of Town Center.

 

What is your favorite thing about Suwanee?
The thoughtful way of past and present leaders. They have to make hard decisions that not everyone will like for the betterment of the community.  

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Right here!

 

What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I once ate a cockroach in college for $50, and would do it again (for more money this time)!

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