Interview with Brandon Picone at TBC’s Large Group Gathering in Oakland – May 14, 2016
I was filming interviews with the @wemassmedia crew at TBC’s Large Group Gathering in Oakland on May 14, 2016.
I had the opportunity to meet Brandon Picone, a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch who studied at Pepperdine University.
I really enjoyed learning about some of the ways Brandon works to connect the dots within the Christian business community to bridge the gap into the secular world. According to Brandon, it’s about creating non-threatening environments where business leaders, both secular and faith-based, can talk about business, ethics, and entrepreneurship.
Justin: Thanks for joining us here at the TBC Large Group Gathering. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Brandon: My name is Brandon Picone. I’m originally from the San Jose area. I went to school down in Pepperdine, came back up, and I’ve been doing investing as a career ever since.
I’ve been actively trying to get more involved in different Christian communities, different business networks, and those types of things.
I really enjoy helping piece the puzzle together so I’m always trying to connect the dots for the Christian community.
Justin: That’s really awesome. So tell me a little bit about your involvement in connecting those dots. What are you looking to accomplish? What are you looking to achieve? How are you trying to bring a glue to the community?
Brandon: So I’ve noticed this for my own career – it’s very networking based. I have the opportunity to continue to be involved in different types of groups. I enjoy going to the Venture Innovation Group, Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast, and I heard about this one so I came to check it out – to find out who’s involved in the various communities, and then invite them to the other ones, and try to help connect those dots.
Justin: Tell me, how can someone else get involved with what you’re doing? How can you help the wider community?
Brandon: Typically, what I do is I just ask people who and what they are looking for, and how can I help them. If they’re working on any Christian ideas, or entrepreneurship projects – whatever it is, whatever they’re interested in – I try to connect them with likeminded people and see where the ideas go.
Justin: Any projects that you’re able to share with us? Some of the cool, innovative ideas that you’ve heard of, or you’ve come across… Things that you’re working on or involved in yourself?
Brandon: Some of the people I’ve met with are doing Christian-based venture capital funding so I’m looking for different types of businesses that are faith-based. Just trying to invite a lot of people within the business community to opportunities to socialize with other business owners.
I think for myself, I’m in a very secular job, and so there’s not a lot of people who are faith-based. So to have that kind of community – an opportunity to share those various ethical struggles – is great for me.
Justin: So it sounds like a really great bridge into the secular community – and I’m sure you’ve found that. In all that you’ve done as an investor, what have you found to be the most effective use of that in terms of bridging the gap between the secular and the Christian worlds?
Brandon: I think it’s creating non-threatening environments. Like the prayer breakfast at Stanford, and the other business group I go to at Family Community Church, it’s just an opportunity for other business people to go and see that Christians aren’t necessarily strange people, and to see that they care about ethics, they care about being good contributors in the business world. Just naturally planting those seeds and letting them grow.
Justin: That’s really cool. Well, I’m really glad you were able to join us here. Thanks for all the work that you do, and we’ll look forward to connecting more in the future.
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