Toni Brady, Office of Management and Budget Director for Hernando County, FL, lived through a tragedy only few can imagine when she lost her son at a young age. See how the unthinkable inspires her work in local government. This is her story, as part of our "Why We Serve" series.
People Need People
Toni Brady, Office of Management and Budget Director for Hernando County, FL, lived through a tragedy only few can imagine when she lost her son at a young age. See how the unthinkable inspires her work in local government. This is her story, as part of our “Why We Serve” series.
After Trey’s passing I worked in accounting at an international trust and insurance company. I quickly moved up the ranks, eventually overseeing 14 employees. Then the 2008 financial crisis hit, causing people to withdraw their money from insurance policies and trusts. This financial upheaval led to layoffs, and I was among the last two people to be let go.
Desperate for a new opportunity, I applied for a position in the finance department of the Clerk of the Circuit Court in Hernando County. My unique background in international trust and insurance made me stand out, and I was hired due to my aptitude for handling the unconventional nature of governmental accounting. I dedicated four years to the Clerk’s office before a new opportunity arose.
In December of 2020, I transitioned to the role of Budget Director for the County, a position that allowed me to make a meaningful impact on our community.
My career continued to evolve, and soon after I was offered the role of Deputy County Administrator. These career advancements were not just about professional growth. They represented my commitment to making a difference in the lives of the people of Hernando County.
Driven to Make a Positive Impact
My daily routine varies, but my motivation remains constant: helping people.
I’m driven by the desire to make a positive impact on the lives of others, just as Trey did during his short but remarkable journey. Whether it’s overseeing playground replacements, boat ramp installations, or gopher tortoise sanctuaries, I’m dedicated to ensuring that our community thrives and that everyone can enjoy the projects we undertake
One aspect of my career that sets me apart is my commitment to breaking down silos in government. I believe in fostering collaboration among different entities to better serve our citizens. It’s essential that we work together seamlessly to address the needs of our community, regardless of bureaucratic boundaries.
In my journey, I’ve learned that speaking up and advocating for oneself and others is crucial. My experiences with Trey taught me that even in the face of experts and professionals, a mother’s intuition and advocacy can make a world of difference. I’ve applied this lesson to my leadership style, ensuring that my employees and colleagues feel supported and empowered to voice their concerns and ideas.
One way I foster open communication and gather public input is through initiatives like the Town Hall OpenGov survey. This tool allows us to connect with the community and understand their needs and preferences better. For instance, we used the survey to gauge public opinion on potential sales tax projects, allowing citizens to rank their priorities. This approach ensures that we’re aligned with the community’s desires and needs.
But my role in government extends beyond the office. It’s also about connecting with people on a personal level.
I understand that everyone has a story, and often, people face challenges that we may not be aware of.
I aim to be a source of support, offering a listening ear, a helping hand, or even a simple gesture of kindness.
Through my experiences and my career, I’ve come to realize that life is about more than just work. It’s about making meaningful connections and leaving a positive impact on the world. Trey’s journey may have been tragically cut short, but his legacy lives on through my commitment to helping others and building a stronger, more compassionate community.
As I continue to navigate the ever-changing landscape of government, I remain motivated by the enduring spirit of my son, Trey, and the belief that by working together and fostering understanding, we can create a better future for all.