Donor Spotlight: Branden Herron

“Allow 100% of yourself, body-mind-spirit, to be present in the experiences.
Savor every detail, enjoy the minutia and the repetition…”
Branden Herron, 2013 JOH Pi Alpha
Iota Iota (Cal Poly-Pomona)

We recently connected with ‘13 Pi Alpha, Branden Herron to discuss why he is so involved in the mission and gives to The Ability Experience as a 77 Society donor. He has been giving a monthly gift the last three years.

Branden is a tuba player and had a lot of great insight to share about his Pi Alpha experience and how his membership in Pi Kappa Phi has impacted his life. He had some great wisdom to share with young men joining Pi Kappa Phi – this is what he had to share.

Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, I’m Branden Herron and I’m from Chino Hills, CA.

I live in Ontario, California with my wife and two dogs. I am the Shop Manager for the Eastman Music Company Winds and Brass Division in Pomona, California where I oversee the Quality Control and repair of instruments our factories have built in China.

What Ability Experience summer event(s) have you participated in and the year?
Journey of Hope Cyclist, South Route, 2013

You’re musical. Tell us more about your musical background and career.
I studied Tuba Performance at Cal Poly Pomona for Undergraduate and then received a Master’s in Tuba Performance and an Artist Certificate (Performance Degree) from Azusa Pacific University.

I currently perform with symphony orchestras, wind ensembles, brass choirs, and quintets, and as a featured soloist. I am most active with Bear Brass, a New Orleans-esk brass band, as we play across Southern California as well as the resident brass band for the Anaheim Ducks of the NHL.

What has been your most meaningful experience with The Ability Experience?
When my chapter of Pi Kappa Phi was an Associate Chapter, we were given the opportunity to build a ramp for a man who had recently become confined to a wheelchair and could no longer access his home. The brothers were able to raise the money, get the supplies, and in the span of a weekend had a new ramp that the man could use on his own to easily access his home!

Being able to help that one person cemented the importance of The Ability Experience within myself.

How have your experiences with The Ability Experience changed the way you view people with disabilities?
The way I view people with disabilities now is how amazing and wonderful they can be.

How would you recommend new members make the most of their Journey of Hope adventure?
Allow 100% of yourself, body-mind-spirit, to be present in the experiences. Savor every detail, enjoy the minutia and the repetition, and never be afraid to look like a big silly kid!

What motivates you to give back to the organization?
I have always felt a deep connection to The Ability Experience and knew that I would continue giving back after graduation.

What means the most to me and my family is to be able to host a dinner for the JOH South team as they begin their trip. On my trip back in 2013, the very first night was a catered night at the home of the parents of a Pi Alpha. This family had been hosting dinner for the team after their son had ridden and had been hosting us even though he couldn’t be there. It showed me firsthand how important The Ability Experience is and that I wanted to instill that value in my own family.