Brandi Bruns and Courtney Wheeler, Bruns Wheeler Group (Nashville Business Radio, Episode 3)
With extensive political and electoral experience, Brandi Bruns and Courtney Wheeler started the Bruns Wheeler Group two years ago. Their consulting work with non-profits and businesses has been rising, however, as these organizations have the same desires as electoral candidates: engaging their chosen audiences by touching hearts. Brandi and Courtney joined host John Ray to share their work and the common threads in their ideal clients. “Nashville Business Radio” is produced virtually from the Nashville studio of Business RadioX®.
Bruns Wheeler Group
BWG has the expertise to help when starting a new organization, growing reach within a community, or launching a political campaign. They are there to help elevate the conversation, exceed a client organization’s goals and work together to make communities stronger. BWG brings more than 40 years of collective experience to its clients across political campaigns, nonprofit management and community relations & development.
Community Relations & Business Development
Their team is experienced in helping organizations grow from the ground up. BWG can put together a community development plan that will encapsulate the steps necessary to get a project moving, introduce clients to the community, and offer strategic advice through each step, including building strong community outreach & deeper relationships.
Political Campaign Management
BWG can handle all aspects of campaign management, from overall plan writing to strategy to operations and finance, to hiring and training staff. BWG has worked on campaigns ranging in size and scope from local statehouse races to state-wide federal races to presidential campaigns and knows what it takes to get started and to win.
Nonprofit Organization Empowerment
BWG can help their clients build a development strategy that will exceed their fundraising goals. BWG can write and execute a fundraising plan for an organization, manage relationships with board members, the executive team, and donors and track progress to ensure clients hit their goals for each project. BWG can also help a new organization file the necessary paperwork to get started and be in good standing as a charitable organization.
Brandi Bruns, Partner
Brandi has spent her career working between political campaigns focused on fundraising, compliance, and operations and leading development teams in nonprofit organizations. During business school, she worked with start-up organizations, and learned how closely the political campaign world is to launching a new venture.
Brandi started her career in the Indianapolis office of US Senator Evan Bayh and from there worked between political campaigns and large healthcare nonprofit organizations in Indiana. Her nonprofit work included leading development efforts with sponsors and donors, reshaping annual events to exceed fundraising goals, and building and maintaining valuable donor relationships.
In 2013 Brandi moved to Nashville, admittedly believing she was done working in politics and fundraising. She started business school shortly after moving to Tennessee and as she was completing her final semester was tapped to serve as the Senior Advisor for Finance and Compliance on the Karl Dean for Governor campaign.
Outside of work, Brandi can be found walking trails and listening to true crime podcasts, reading, or in her kitchen testing recipes daily. She lives in Nashville with some kitties who provide daily laughter and plenty of headaches.
Courtney Wheeler, Partner
Courtney spent the past 20 years working at various stages of electoral and political campaigns. She brings a diverse set of skills to any campaign, non-profit, or business.
Courtney began her career managing two successful statehouse races in East Tennessee in 2002. In 2003, she was named the field director for the John Kerry for President Campaign traveling all over the country during the primary campaign. After working at the Tennessee Democratic Party, she moved to Florida to build and run the political and field program for the Jim Davis for Governor campaign. In 2007, she moved back to TN to help Karl Dean run a successful race for mayor of Nashville.
After law school, she joined President Barack Obama’s 2012 successful reelection campaign as the National Voter Protection Director. She moved back to TN to join Mayor Dean’s administration as the Director of the Office of Neighborhoods. In 2015, Courtney worked for the non-profit education organization, Project Renaissance, as the Director of Community Engagement before she became the Campaign Manager for Karl Dean’s race for Governor.
Courtney is an avid runner, yogi, and dog mom to Rigby. She enjoys reading as much as time permits. She has hiked all over the world including the rain forests in Fiji, waterfalls in Hawaii, and near her home in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Questions and Topics in this Interview
- How/why did they get started?
- What are the biggest issues they see their clients facing?
- Community engagement
- Coalition building
- Campaign management
“Nashville Business Radio” is hosted by John Ray and produced virtually from the Nashville studio of Business RadioX®. You can find the full archive of shows by following this link. The show is available on all the major podcast apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Amazon, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, TuneIn, and others.