Volunteer. Public Servant. Entrepreneur. Coach.

Volunteer. Public Servant. Entrepreneur. Coach.  There are many words used to describe Brian Meshkin.  But if you ask Brian, he’s just Brian – a guy who works hard, dreams big, and rolls up his sleeves to help others.  More than any other word, Brian would tell you he is a husband and father first and foremost.

A native son of Howard County, Maryland – a small, caring community tucked between the two big cities of Baltimore and Washington, DC, Brian is now proud to call southern California home where he lives with his wife of 15 years, Catherine Campbell Meshkin, Esq., and three children.  Like all fathers, Brian is so proud of his wife and kids.  He explains:
"My wife is such a great example of working hard and dreaming big.  Growing up in a working class family in a small town in California, she had to study hard at school, while working numerous jobs to not only graduate near the top of her high school class, but to graduate magna cum laude from UCLA.  Throughout our marriage, she has always sacrificed so much for my career and the kids.  One of her many sacrifices was delaying law school to put her family first.  So about 7 years ago, when our youngest was two, Catherine had the courage to go back to school and earn her law degree from the George Mason University School of Law – with three young kids and a husband starting a company.  People thought she was crazy, but she did it.  The kids and I are so proud of her achievements.  It was hard to do, and neither of us were sure that we could do it, but not only did we survive -- we thrived. She’s a hero in my book.”
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Several years after graduation, Catherine was invited back as an adjunct professor of legal research, writing and analysis at George Mason School of Law where she has taught for the past couple years.  Their kids, Nicholas, Elizabeth, and William are all involved in school, church, sports, and music.  

Like many of us, it was in his home and neighborhood growing up where Brian gained a strong appreciation for sacrifice and hard work. His mother - an educator - was raised by a Catholic widowed single mother, who instilled a strong sense of family and determination, when faced with challenges. His mom and grandma told him their stories of struggle; and this gave him a deep appreciation for the opportunities Brian had growing up – with both a mom and dad at home, a great public school system, and the opportunity to go to college. 

A child of an immigrant father, Brian’s dad was born in Iran and emigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan to escape religious persecution and seek the American dream. Coming to the U.S. with $100 in his pocket and working 3 jobs to establish himself, Brian’s dad came here to become an American and worked hard to provide for his family.  Brian’s dad fled the influence of radical Islam that has besieged his homeland and helped his parents and siblings flee as well to America.  Because of his parents’ hard work and sacrifices, Brian graduated from Glenelg High School and the University of Maryland at College Park.  The values of hard work, sacrifice, unyielding faith, and overcoming discrimination are life lessons and stories that Brian not only tries to apply in his life, but he tries to pass onto his three children.  He explains,

“My parents did their best to give me and brother more than they had.  I didn’t grow up with the traditional definitions of a privileged background – a wealthy family or parents with a famous name.  But I learned at a young age that I was privileged. I was privileged to be born as an American with limitless opportunity to work hard and achieve my dreams.  People have often times asked me what contributed to my entrepreneurial spirit and I would have to say two things.  First, my mom’s enduring optimism, always telling me “Everything happens for a reason”, has allowed me to keep every challenge in perspective. I thank my mom for this. And then when this perspective is combined with my dad’s inspirational story as an immigrant, I learned what it took to be a successful entrepreneur. I can’t think of anything more entrepreneurial than leaving your home country and traveling halfway across the world with $100 in ‘start-up’ capital and all the ‘sweat equity’ you can muster to learn the language, work as many odd jobs as possible, and then ultimately landing in a 30-year successful career with Johnson & Johnson to provide your children with a chance to do even better than you.  That’s real entrepreneurism.” 

 

Some entrepreneurs start their first business when they’re 13. Though Brian didn’t start a business then, his commitment to making a difference began at 13 years of age.  Following the tragic death of a friend who was hit by a vehicle while riding his bicycle in front of Brian’s home, Brian realized that life was truly a gift, and a community could come together during a difficult time, and anyone could make a difference.  As a student at Glenwood Middle School, Brian led the legislative committee of a student project to pass the nation’s first bicycle helmet law for children under 16 years of age in Howard County. This experience ignited Brian’s passion for helping others and solving difficult problems.  Throughout high school, Brian continued to testify and lobby for similar legislation protecting children across the U.S.  Brian still believes in our ability to come together during difficult times to solve problems with collaborative leadership.  Brian’s passion for making a difference and commitment to entrepreneurial innovation all go back to this defining moment.  

 
 

Today as a father of three children, Brian’s commitment is deeper than ever.  He understands the hardships faced by parents trying to raise a family, as well as the joys of parenthood.  Brian is active in his community, having been PTA President at his children’s school, serving as a youth sport coach for his sons basketball and baseball teams, an announcer for his daughter’s swim meets, having served on numerous non-profit boards, and serving four years as an elected member of his countywide Board of Education.  He is a huge sports enthusiast and die-hard fan of the Washington Redskins.  He is a Christian and an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Brian defines his life by his faith in God and belief that every person on earth is a child of God with a divine heritage and potential.