An outgoing man who offers the impression that he never meets a stranger, Canty has served in numerous positions with agencies all over Bartow County. Having cut back on his "board" work, he currently holds two paying positions and serves on two local boards.
Whether it's surrounded by furry friends at the Etowah Valley Humane Society or ensconced in the radio booth, Canty hopes his time in the community leaves behind a legacy while he's busy making a difference.
Name: Bryan Canty
Occupation: Executive director of the Etowah Valley Humane Society, and I am also a reporter/co-host of a morning sports talk show on AM 1450 WBHF. Those are my paying vocations. I am president of New Frontier, which is a civic organization in Bartow County. I am also a representative on the Cartersville-Bartow County Library Board.
City of Residence: Cartersville, the people's republic
Education: Three years of college at the University of Georgia and University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.
How did you becomes so involved in the community?
A: Well, since I don't have kids, I look at the various associations with organizations as my legacy. I'm very passionate about what I do, and it allows me an opportunity to give back in the community that, for the foreseeable future anyway, this is where I'm going to be.
You've described your community service as a calling. Explain.
A: The situation out here,with the Humane Society, was a calling because it was a situation that needed correcting. So several members of the board approached me about filling that capacity; they thought I had the qualities necessary to right the ship, so to speak. My involvement with radio just stemmed from an interest in journalism that I've always had. My affiliation with New Frontier, being a minority male in this community, I think it is incumbent upon me to address future or subsequent generations to the trials and tribulations they may face. But it also gives me an opportunity to extend my hand in the community on a personal level and make sure that people have food to eat. We help in scholarships, in furthering education, to just help those that are sort of the downtrodden. ... I was formerly affiliated with Advocates for Children. I was on the board there up until this year. I come from a family of educators, and my mother was a grade-school teacher and then she had day care businesses. So I've always been passionate about the wellbeing of kids, to make sure that they at least get a level playing field to start from.
What do you hope your legacy is?
A: I hope that one day people will look back at my contributions to the community and say, "You know what? He was a pretty good guy."
And who was your biggest influence?
A: Two people: My grandfather, who was the first black member on the board of directors at the Chamber of Commerce, and of course, my mother, who has been my anchor and my rock and the source of wisdom.
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement?
A: I would have to say this endeavor [at the humane society] right now. Seeing that we are making a difference, of course that's not just me ... I mean my staff, they are a very, very integral part, they are the backbone of this organization. I generally just helm the ship. I like what we've been able ... I love what we've been able to do in the 12 months that I've been here. There has been significant change, more animal lives are being saved and we've been able to expand our support base to a platform that the founding board members, up until this point, had only dreamed about.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
A: That, in spite of everything that I'm into and the friendships that I've made with people, I'm still kind of, I'm a loner of sorts.
If you weren't doing this, what would you be doing?
A: Selling T-shirts on the beach somewhere. I don't know. [Laughs] Whatever it is, it would have to involve giving back. I would love to have a philanthropic organization that would allow me to really, fully sustain the passions in my life.
What is your favorite meal?
A: That depends on the mood. Of course, I like a good grilled steak.
What makes Bartow County special?
A: This is my home. This is the environment that created me. This is a place I am proud to call home. And that, you know, if there is any way in the world that I am called to assist and I know that I have the ability to have a positive influence, then I would be remiss if I didn't get involved. I'm not going to miss my blessings simply for a selfish reason.
What is your personal motto or philosophy?
A: It is what it is.