This is the fourth in a series of stories heralding the many great people of the University of Findlay and the ways they support our mission of preparing students for meaningful lives and productive careers.
“If you want to get something done, ask a busy person.”
This pearl of wisdom is what Sherri Garner Brumbaugh’s mother used to tell her. And, seeing as how Garner Brumbaugh has always kept quite a few irons in the fire, this bit of advice seemed to rub off on her in clear fashion.
Garner Brumbaugh, the president and CEO of Garner Trucking in Findlay, is a University of Findlay Trustee, co-chairs the UF Advancement Committee, and serves as chair of the UF College of Business Advisory Board. In the past, she has helped out with serving on the Board of Counselors and the cabinet for fundraising for the Center for Student Life and College of Business building at UF. Strictly speaking, when considering her mother’s philosophy, if you want something done, you may want to ask her.
Born and raised in Findlay, Garner Brumbaugh attended Liberty Benton High School, where she began to hone her skills of being busy. “I took percussion lessons beginning in sixth grade, and I washed trucks and mowed lawns part time for the family trucking business while in high school,” she recalled. In other words, she kept busy. The percussion lessons may have been among her first forays into a relationship with the University of Findlay as well, as they were taught to her by Mike Malloy–a music professor at what was then still known as Findlay College. “I certainly have those memories from my youth, walking on campus and spending time there practicing and taking percussion lessons,” she said.
The lessons ended up helping her when attending college at The Ohio State University as she secured a spot in the percussion section for five years with the OSU marching band. She would graduate with a degree in music education in hand, and begin teaching soon after. Not surprisingly, the busyness did not subside upon graduation. “After college, I taught music for five years at Hopewell Loudon High School in Tiffin, Ohio, teaching instrumental music/band to grades five through twelve,” she said. “While there, I attended Bowling Green State University and completed and received a master’s degree in education, guidance and career counseling.”
While there was no such thing as “idle hands” for Garner Brumbaugh at the time, her busy life quite possibly encouraged her to try different things; things that would end up defining part of her life as much as music and education. “I left teaching to work part time for my family trucking business with full intentions of going back into teaching,” she explained. “But I found I could contribute to the family trucking business and my father kept giving me projects to help improve the business. With some degree of success, I hung up the music baton and found I still had passion for the family business and the trucking industry. I often say I am an educator by trade, but a trucker by heritage!”
Garner Brumbaugh admits that life is still busy for her, and a lot of that zeal for staying involved revolves around UF and all that it has to offer. She is a self-described “Mazza Museum enthusiast,” has been on several summer Mazza book tours, and enjoys an extensive collection of children’s book art in her home. In addition to her other serving opportunities with the University, she has served as a chair for the University of Findlay College of Business Dana Chair/Scholar Program, and continues to host Dana visits at Garner Trucking. “What I like most, though, is talking and interacting with the students,” she said, “and I especially enjoy working with the COB students and faculty. I would like to spend more time at UF as I try to slow down my daily interaction with my business. My philanthropic efforts are truly where I would like to spend my time and UF is top of my list.”
She added that, since students and the strong and talented faculty are the best part of UF, she feels a great opportunity to make an even better connection between them and area businesses, as well as businesses across the country. “Truly, the world is at our UF students’ fingertips,” she said. “They just need to grasp for it and hold on. There is so much opportunity for UF. I’m just excited to be part of it all!”