John R. Bradford, III, was first elected to public office in 2011 as a Cornelius Town Commissioner and was re-elected to a second term in 2013. Prior to being elected as a Cornelius Town Commissioner, John served as a Cornelius PARC Commissioner. John is the CEO & Founder of Park Avenue Properties, a Cornelius based residential property management and real estate investment firm with operations in three states and eight cities.
Prior to starting his own business, John was a Sales Manager and Sales Executive with IBM Corporation for 10 years and was an Environmental Engineer with ExxonMobil Corporation for 4 years. John earned an Engineering degree from Clemson University (1996) and an Executive MBA degree from the University of Memphis (2000).
In August, John’s company, Park Avenue Properties, was recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest growing privately owned companies in America. Inc. magazine has ranked America’s top 5,000 fastest growing privately owned companies every year since 1987 which includes ranking companies owned by well-known CEO’s like Michael Dell (Dell Computers) and Bill Gates (Microsoft) among many others. In the 2014 ranking, John’s company was ranked No. 1,352 out of the top 5,000. Of these top 5,000 companies only 146 were from North Carolina and John’s company was ranked No. 16 out of the 146. In April of this year, John was recognized by the Charlotte Business Journal as one of this year’s “Forty Under 40″ class. In 2012, John was awarded and recognized as the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year. He was also awarded and recognized by the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce as the Most Business Friendly Cornelius Town Commissioner. John currently serves on several national and local Boards such as the National Association of Residential Property Managers, Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, Visit Lake Norman, United Way of Central Carolinas, Entrepreneur’s Organization Charlotte Chapter, Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization, Friends of the Animals and Pi Kappa Phi National Fraternity Housing Corporation. He is also a Rotarian and a member of St. Mark’s Catholic Church.
John has been married to Shea Bradford for 13 years and has four children ages 11, 9, 7 and 7.
1. Why are you running for office?
I am running because I believe that NC needs legislators who can bring deliberate leadership, business relevance and government experience to their Office. I believe that NC needs continued focus on stimulating our economy, recruiting new companies, creating new jobs, investing in education, paying competitive salaries to educators, eliminating entitlements to those capable of helping themselves and removing government inefficiencies.
I started my own small business, Park Avenue Properties, in 2003. Since then I have worked incredibly hard to grow aggressively but also responsibly. My company’s headquarters is located in District 98 and I have created over 50 new jobs. My formula for success is based on the old fashioned way of doing things: a lot of determination, many long days and nights, plenty of hard work, a common sense approach, a little good luck, and absolutely NO government assistance. I look forward to taking that same approach to government in Raleigh.
2. How has your background prepared you for office?
I believe my family, faith, business experience and public service has uniquely prepared me to serve in the NC House. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 13 years and we have four children. We are members of St. Mark’s Catholic Church.
I am serving my second term as a Cornelius Town Commissioner. In this role, I have protected tax payers’ dollars by voting twice to lower and then maintain our Town’s tax rate. I am a former Cornelius PARC Commissioner and I serve on the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Board among many other non-profit Boards.
As a small business owner I understand first-hand the serious issues that are negatively affecting business expansion and growth. Despite these challenges I have still grown a successful business. In September, the Charlotte Business Journal named my company to the 2014 list of “Charlotte’s Fast 50.” In August, Inc. magazine ranked my company No. 1,352 out of the top 5,000 fastest growing privately owned companies in America. Of the top 5,000 only 146 are from NC and, of these, we are No. 16. I am ready to take my business experience to Raleigh.
3. What makes you the best candidate?
I am the only candidate in my race that owns and operates a small business. I am also the only candidate in my race that is an elected official with political experience. My successful track record in both business and government is guided by a common sense approach of getting things done.
As a Town Commissioner I have cut and then maintained our Town’s tax rate, prioritized spending, and voted to make strategic investments. I have made myself available during the last three years at my monthly “Commissioner Coffee Chat” where anyone is welcome and I can listen/discuss various issues with my constituents.
I am from a family of educators so I understand the value of a strong education system from K-12 as well as in higher education. I am resolved and passionate to work with anyone, no matter their profession or political affiliation, to ensure NC has one of the best educational systems in the country.
I am committed to make the Lake Norman region the best place to live, work, and play and to make a great state even greater.
4. What would be your top priorities if elected?
- Education: We need to ensure we are paying our teachers competitively so NC can retain and recruit top rated educators today to teach our children tomorrow. I believe we need to first reform our education system and then invest in the tools, talent, and time needed to make our students successful from when they first enter the public education system until graduation from NC Universities.
- Business: NC needs to be competitive in attracting new business & retaining current businesses. The top challenge facing NC is the continued need for business growth/expansion while removing the unnecessary regulatory burdens on our business owners. I intend to help reform our regulatory and tax codes to create jobs in NC.
- Infrastructure: I think the NCDOT should be reformed adding greater accountability. The challenge facing our state is an infrastructure system that is in much need of increased strategic investments for long term economic growth.