Owner

Patrick Graham is the owner of The Walton Tribune, The Covington News, The Sand Mountain Reporter (Albertville, Alabama), Times-Journal (Fort Payne, Alabama) and Jackson County Sentinel (Scottsboro, Alabama). He is a graduate of the University of Alabama.

God’s plans are always better than our plans.

I discovered that undeniable truth nearly seven years ago now. I had just been fired from my “dream job,” the one I had been working toward my entire newspaper career, when the same person who let me go offered me the opportunity to buy The Walton Tribune six months later.

But that’s a story for another column.

This column is about Ross Bradley as he embarks on his own leap of faith.

At this time last year, Bradley, a local businessman who also serves on the Monroe City Council, owned or was partners in four different restaurant ventures in the area — Silver Queen in Monroe and three Your Pie franchises in Snellville, Covington and Monroe.

Today, he has either sold or divested himself of all four, the last being the Monroe Your Pie last week.

Which means in what is likely the first time in his adult life, Bradley is not a part of the food service industry.

What’s next? Well, we’ll have to see what He has planned for Bradley.

“I don’t have a good answer for that question yet,” Bradley said. “We’ve had a great run over the past decade, and I know everyone experiences ups and downs in a career, but a lot of my ‘downs’ were self-inflicted.

“I’ve always been a believer, but for the better part of my life, I’ve tried to pave my own path. In this season of relative uncertainty, since I don’t immediately have a new job lined up, I am really leaning into God to direct my next move.”

Bradley is praying his next opportunity keeps him in Monroe, which he considers home and never wants to leave.

“Hollis (Bradley’s wife) and I are praying relentlessly that our next move is in Monroe. After all, we’re deeply rooted here with family and community,” Bradley said. “This pandemic has exposed a lot of strengths and weaknesses, both personally and in the community. Whatever is next, I hope God uses us to send a shockwave out that leads people closer to him.

“I’ll keep you posted!”

Bradley also believes he still has work to do as the District 3 representative on the Monroe council.

“I absolutely plan to continue serving in that capacity, should the voters of District 3 agree come November,” Bradley said. “The entire city has been working diligently to improve the lives of everyone in our community, and I am grateful to have been a part of that for three plus years. We have great momentum right now. Everything from infrastructure to economic development to our park systems have been flourishing more than any time in our recent past.

“My heart for the City of Monroe has only grown through this process. There are still so many things I can contribute and accomplish for this community!”

Bradley has had a tremendous impact on Monroe through his service to the community. We recognized that impact by naming Bradley the newspaper’s Community Spirit Award winner about this time last year.

Let’s all say a little prayer that God’s plans enable Bradley to continue having that same positive impact locally moving forward.

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