As a candidate to represent District 4 on the Williamson County Board of Education, Bob Britton brings a world of experience.
If that sounds like so much campaign hyperbole, consider this: He spent better than half of his growing-up years in South America, graduating from high school in Argentina. Britton has been in nearly 70 countries, some for pleasure but most for business as a corporate executive with Kimberly-Clark for close to 30 years. He developed businesses in places such as China, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. He’s fluent in Spanish.
“I’ve lived all over the world and been immersed in all kinds of cultures,” said Britton, now retired and a resident of Williamson County for some 20 years. “It has made me, I think, a more compassionate and sympathetic person, less afraid of differences.”
Britton is a Democrat running against incumbent Josh Brown, a Republican, and independent Del Wright in the Aug. 4 school board election.
Raised in Detroit until he was 8 and then moving with his family to Venezuela for his dad’s job with Chrysler, Britton later received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University. Most of his career was with Kimberly-Clark in finance and as a general manager, and he most recently owned and operated a couple of fitness centers for five years in Murfreesboro and Smyrna before retiring at 66.
“I led large organizations, with three or four thousand employees,” Britton said. “I played major leadership roles, and I think those skills are directly applicable to the school board. I understand finance and budget because for years that’s what I did.
“I think being a small-business [owner] was a valuable experience because I know not only the trials and tribulations, but I know the kind of people we need as educators in our schools. I think I bring that knowledge to the picture too.”
Britton’s qualifications also include his personal investment in Williamson County Schools. His daughter is a single mother who has twins at Trinity Elementary School, and he has helped with their education.
“She needed a lot of help, so I got very involved in their school,” Britton said. “I got to meet with their teachers, go to their classrooms, get them ready for school in the morning, pick them up some days. I worked with them in online classes during the pandemic.
“I was very impressed with their teachers, the staff, the bus drivers — everyone always impressed me how they cared about the students and their safety. I decided I wanted to be more involved. That’s what got me motivated to want to run for school board.”
Britton was also persuaded to run by the unrest he began seeing at school board meetings and by the divisiveness that has creeped into society in recent years. He wrestled with whether or not to make the commitment.
“I had thought about it for some time, but I was uncomfortable with the general environment and I wasn’t sure I wanted to put my family — my grandkids — out there. I’m going to be talking about them a lot, and I had to be sure my family was comfortable with my doing this.
“I agonized over the decision for quite a while and decided I couldn’t stand still and had to stand up for public schools. It was a last-minute decision. My family supported me 100 percent.”
Visit Bob Britton's website for more information.