The following profile is one in a series of stories profiling candidates for the upcoming municipal election May 2.
By LANDON WOODROOF
When Mark Gorman first chose to run for Brentwood’s Board of Commissioners in 2013, the health care executive already had years of public service and private business experience in his background. He had started and sold his first company by the age of 30 and had long been involved in various civic organizations. He had served on Brentwood’s Planning Commission since 2005 as well.
The decision to take on a larger role in public life, however, was something that had been on Gorman’s mind for a while. He and his wife, Marci, had discussed it in private a number of times and, after several Brentwood residents urged him to consider a run for the city commission, he decided to go for it. The idea fit in with his vision of individual service as a contributor to the greater good.
“Ultimately, I look at any organization whether it be government, whether it be church, whether it be a ball club or a sports organization, or a community homeowners association, good people have to be willing to step up and lead and make sure to put the interest of the stakeholders first,” Gorman said.
Plenty of Brentwood voters agreed Gorman was the type of leader the city needed, and he won election to the Board of Commissioners in 2013 with more votes than any other candidate.
Gorman’s road to the city commission really began, though, in the small town of Danville, Illinois, about 100 miles south of Chicago, where he grew up. He first visited Brentwood on break from college at Eastern Illinois University where he was getting his bachelor’s degree in finance. Gorman’s parents had recently relocated to the city. Gorman’s father was a mechanical engineer with General Motors who had been sent down to help open the nearby Saturn plant.
Right away, Gorman felt a connection to the area, especially Brentwood.
“I realized that Brentwood was something very special,” he said, and as a result, he chose to follow his parents to Williamson County soon thereafter.
“I didn’t get to move to Brentwood right away, but eventually built a home where we live now in 2001,” he said.
Of course, health care was and is big business in Middle Tennessee, and that was the field that Gorman became involved in professionally. He was a partner with MedSource, Inc., a company he helped grow to 500 employees before selling it in 1998. He then became involved in acquiring hospitals, purchasing facilities in Smithville and Woodbury. Those were later sold as well. Currently, he is a vice president at Community Health Systems, based in Franklin.
Gorman considers the knowledge and experience he has gained from years spent in the private sector as an essential part of what he brings to local government.
“I’ve made payroll for many, many years and have employed lots of individuals,” he said. “I know how to run large organizations.”
Of course, throughout his years as a businessman, Gorman has also been involved in other pursuits. He has been an active member in his local HOA, for instance.
Many of his volunteer roles, however, have revolved around his three children: Luke, Gage and Kendall. While they were growing up, Gorman took various leadership roles in the Brentwood Civitan Club, joined the PTO and became a Cub Scout leader.
His children all attended Williamson County Schools and are now grown, with the youngest, Kendall, in school at Western Kentucky University. Kendall made the news in 2014 when, while serving as a lifeguard, she saved a child from drowning.
“Not that I’m a proud father or anything,” Gorman said, “but my daughter received a Citizen’s Valor award from the City of Brentwood.”
Now, seeking a second term in office, Gorman looks back with a sense of gratitude at the time he has spent so far as a city commissioner.
“I’ve been humbled, and I’m also honored and privileged to be able to serve the residents of Brentwood,” he said.
Yet, he also thinks there is still work to be done to ensure that the qualities which he believes make Brentwood such a desirable place to call home are preserved into the future.
“Brentwood is a great place to live and we need to really focus on the things that make Brentwood very, very special,” he said. “We have lots of open green space. We have low taxes, and we have a very safe city. All of this adds up to a high quality of life for us, our children and all of the residents here in Brentwood.”
As the municipal election nears, Gorman trusts citizens of Brentwood will be able to see the work he has done in office to keep Brentwood special.
“The residents can count on me to look out for their best interests,” he said. “I believe in balanced and responsible growth.”
Brentwood’s Municipal Election will be held on Tuesday, May 2. Early voting runs from Wednesday, April 12 through Thursday, April 27.