Episode 13 – A Business housing the Brilliance of Musical Artist, Speaker, Forest Scientist, Professor, and Pastor Dr. Thomas Easley
Dr. Thomas Easley is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. He has held positions with the US Forest Service and other non-profits. Easley serves as CEO of his business The Easley Branch, LLC and the Director of Community for Diversity in the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University from 2004 to now. Easley earned his undergraduate degree in forest science from Alabama A&M University and his master’s degree in Forest Genetics from Iowa State University, and his doctorate in Adult Education from NC State University, where his research focus was STEM Faculty Perceptions of Matters of Diversity. In his role as the Diversity Director he teaches courses, counsels students, consults with faculty and staff on programming ensuring they are inclusive to all populations. With his background in forestry and diversity he has co-taught courses in Sweden on forest practices, and Landscapes in Ecotourism in Ghana, West Africa. Lastly, Dr. Easley is also a musician and is known by RaShad in the world of music.
Thomas serves as Pastor of a campus-church congregation that meets weekly. There he educates and works with students helping them to become their best selves. He has been involved in this ministry for a number of years and has overseen its growth from one to three different entities in North Carolina.
As an undergrad exchange student at the University of Georgia, he joined two separate bands playing both rock and jazz music. This love for music followed him into graduate school where he played in yet another band that would travel throughout the region and perform at various shows. This, along with other key life changes, allowed him to see these opportunities as a way to continue using his gifts outside of the classroom as well as make money. Soon after, he connected with a fellow native of Alabama who encouraged him to launch a business that incorporated all of his musical, oratorical and academic skills. Hence, the Easley Branch was born.
- Don’t be afraid of the talents that you have and don’t be afraid to tell other people that you have something that they need.
- Don’t be afraid to go off on our own.
- Be smart with your money but don’t be afraid to invest in yourself – It’s one of the best investments you can make!
- “Life is A Choice” by David Washington
- “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman
- “Do You!: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success” by Russell Simmons
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“Whenever you have a vision for yourself, hold on to it and don’t let go because the people who don’t understand what you’re doing will eventually catch up with you.” – Dr. Thomas R. Easley