Carol Brown Andrews
Grindstone Research, LLP
This month, AAPC caught up with our very own 2018 Pollie Awards & Conference Co-Chair, Carol Brown Andrews!
Our newly launched Volunteer Spotlight feature puts our amazing volunteers front and center in the AAPC Community! We want to use this unique opportunity to thank the wonderful individuals that continuously donate their time and energy to help AAPC thrive. We encourage all AAPC members to connect with these star volunteers to thank them for their hard work! To be featured in our next Volunteer Spotlight, or to volunteer for an upcoming event, contact Angela Pubal at email@example.com.
AAPC: Tell us about yourself and what you do.
Carol: I am Vice President of Grindstone Research, LLP, a full-service research firm for Democratic political campaigns, non-profit and corporate interests. We are based in Nashville and Lexington, Kentucky. Along with Grindstone’s co-founders, Principle Greg Talmage, and Partner Matt Bricken, I work across the country, up and down the ballot. We all spend a lot of time in legislative libraries, courthouses and city halls analyzing public records, and producing detailed research reports for clients with the full intent to help them win.
A native Tennessean, I grew up on a large farm in Smith County, famous for Nobel Prize winners Al Gore, Cordell Hull, and nothing else. My siblings and I are partners in the farm, which has been in our family for more than 200 years. While my canine boss, Mia Trixie, and I live in Nashville, our plans are to soon move back there so I can watch the Cumberland River roll by while I write research books.
AAPC: When did you become an AAPC member and what prompted you to join?
Carol: As a company, Grindstone decided we should join AAPC in 2014 because it would not only help us network but also provide platforms for learning about new tools and trends in the industry. Although many tricks of the trade in our specific discipline don’t change as quickly as those in others, we still like to keep up what is happening with others. AAPC’s panels of our colleagues from across the industry are always insightful.
AAPC: As Co-Chair of the 2018 Pollie Awards & Conference Committee tell us about what can we look forward to next year!
Carol: For those of you who have never been to Nashville, you are in for a treat. For those of you who haven’t been in a while, you are in for a surprise because Nashville is an entirely new experience. I am proud that the AAPC Board has chosen my city as the next site for the Pollies! The committee is working on a total immersion into Nashville’s culture of great music, delectable Southern food and drink, and some of the nicest people you’ll meet on the planet. Don’t expect just country music. There’s a reason the city is home to Dan Auerbach, Sheryl Crowe, Jack White, Big and Rich, Justin Timberlake, Kid Rock, BeBe and CeCe Winans, T Bone Burnett, Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift and Dolly Parton! The sounds are as diverse as our city.
About our program: Expect the TED Talks and sessions of the past conferences to be kicked up a few notches with powerful speakers from cutting edge disciplines. Because we’ll be in Nashville with its wealth of creativity, you may also anticipate a special session with elite singer-songwriters who write for everyone from Faith Hill and Tim McGraw to Lady Gaga. Some of the world’s best lyricists and composers — members of the National Songwriters Association International — will share their processes and inspirations for writing songs you know. You will learn how their processes may coincide with our industry’s own, from writing a fundraising email to framing the perfect tv ad. We are also planning events throughout the city, so be ready to travel outside of dreary conference rooms and into the sights, tastes and sounds of Nashville.
AAPC: What is the benefit of volunteering with AAPC?
Carol: I have volunteered for the past couple of years now and find it rewarding. First, I get to work with people from both sides of the aisle and meet colleagues I might otherwise never really get to know. Second, I hear others’ creative ideas for panel discussions and events. AAPC members are truly connected, intelligent and resourceful. If you want to know how to get things done, volunteer with AAPC. You will learn from our great staff and our members.
AAPC: Why do you think it is important to give back to the industry?
Carol: Why not? Anything that benefits AAPC benefits me and helps me grow professionally. I never attend an event that I don’t learn something new or make a meaningful business contact. There is no better place than an AAPC event for peer-to-peer marketing, personal career growth and a really good time!