Michael E. BruderM.Ed., CFP®, CTFA™
Where did you grow up?
I grew up outside of the Washington, DC, Metropolitan area in the little town of Forest Heights, Maryland. During my 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, I attended Burgundy Farm Country Day School in Alexandria, Virginia (yes, it was actually on a farm). This experience set the foundation for my love of the natural world which is still flourishing after all these years! My 7th grade teacher was an ornithologist as well as a botanist and taught all disciplines using natural world examples. For example, we learned geography by banding birds and studying their migratory patterns―a sneaky way to make geography practical and understandable. To this day I can identify at least 50 birds solely by their call.
Where do you live now?
My wife and I live in Asheville, NC, about 3.5 miles from the city. Even though we are that close to the city, we are in the mountains with mountain views and surrounded by natural sounds. We have bear visitors weekly and often see deer, fox, and wild turkeys. Needless to say (see above!) I have three bird feeders and a bird bath on our side porch. Watching birds never gets old to me!
What’s the one thing people say you’re the best at?
I believe they’d tell you I’m an encourager!
What fuels you every day at work?
Having a master’s degree in counseling, I thrive on interpersonal relationships of all kinds. It’s important to me to be a careful listener to hear and understand the spoken and unspoken needs of my clients and co-workers. By doing so, I’m able to give them the benefit of my understanding and experience to help them address issues in ways they may not have considered. Nothing pleases me more than to hear someone say, “you know, I never looked at it that way.”