“I Choose Memphis” spotlights Memphians who are passionate about calling this community home. New Memphis Institute provides the profiles.
Name: Micah Brafford
Job Title and Company: Vice President of Commercial Banking, Independent Bank
Length of time living in Memphis: 25-plus years; I left for college and came back to Memphis.
Life history: I like to think of Memphis as my adopted hometown. Growing up, my family moved quite a bit before settling here because of my father’s career with International Paper. I’m the oldest of three boys and each of us was born in a different state: Maine, Texas and Oregon. College and my early career gave me a great opportunity to experience other places, from Detroit to Baltimore, but Memphis was always my home base. When the chance to work for a biotech start-up was offered back home, I couldn’t pass it up. The tricky part was convincing my new girlfriend – a native New Yorker – to make the move with me. Almost 10 years later, my now wife and I are proud to call Memphis home, along with our 18-month-old son.
What current local initiative excites you most?
I recently took up cycling and I am excited to see Memphis leading the way on bike lanes and bike-friendly environments. Riding the Greenline, you realize how unifying the bike paths can be. It’s a great thing for Memphis, and I think it’s only going to get better with the Shelby Farms expansion plans. It’s crazy to think that I may be able to ride a bike from Collierville to West Memphis in the future.
What is your favorite local festival?
My wife and I love the Cooper-Young Festival – we haven’t missed one since we moved here. Every year we find a new artist, and this past year, we found an awesome local artist who was making bowls from copper wire. We would have never seen her work if we hadn’t gone to Cooper-Young.
What do you like most about your job?
I never thought I would end up a banker, but I really do love it. Both of my degrees are in business, but I never planned on getting into finance. However, I have come to realize that banking isn’t always “about the numbers.” Banking is far more about developing relationships and earning trust than most people realize.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
I’m a little biased; I love all of Kelly English’s restaurants. Restaurant Iris is a special place because that’s where I got engaged; all of our milestones continue to be celebrated there. On the complete other end of the spectrum, Asian Palace on Summer is another favorite – my extended family has our Sunday dinners there.
What do you find surprising about Memphis?
I am constantly surprised about all the different activities that go on around here. Everything from Playhouse on the Square to concerts at Levitt Shell to outdoor festivals – I really don’t understand how anyone could ever be bored. There is a little something for everyone, and that’s what I love about this city.