Foundation Board Member Feature: Brad Shamla

Meet Brad Shamla, one of the newest MSUM Foundation Board members. He learned valuable life lessons as co-captain of the Dragon Football team, which helped him throughout his successful career. He looks forward to supporting future generations of MSUM students and playing a role in their success.

Shamla graduated from MSUM in 1989 with a degree in pre-engineering. He previously served as vice president of U.S. operation for Enbridge and is now retired.

What energizes you in your role on the Foundation Board?
Understanding the positive impact MSUM can have on Students and student-athletes and seeing firsthand the benefits and friendships that carry forward through your life. MSUM has a proud tradition and a great foundation to build on.

What inspires you to give back to the university with your time and talent?
MSUM had a very positive influence on my career and it’s something that I’d like to see continue for generations to come. Universities have been facing some significant challenges in recent years, and some have had to resort to cutting programs and staff to survive. The future success of MSUM’s academic and athletic programs really depends on its alumni and supporters stepping up and playing a role.

Who at MSUM inspires you?
There are a number of people I could mention here but will focus on two individuals that had a real influence on me during my time at MSUM: Coach (Ross) Fortier, who was an inspirational leader, motivator and life coach, and Professor (Charlie) Martin who introduced me to the world of engineering and whose passion in the classroom inspired a career in the field.

What experiences at MSUM have influenced your life the most? Which have helped you succeed?
Being a student-athlete at MSUM and balancing academics and athletics taught me a great deal about time management, teamwork, commitment and perseverance – something I carried with me throughout my career.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I have a small Dragon tattoo on my back that I got while attending MSUM. It’s the only tattoo I have, but one I have never regretted getting and have worn proudly for the better part of my life.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
“Don’t be afraid to make a mistake; just don’t make the same mistake twice.” – advice I received early in my career from my first boss and mentor that really stuck with me throughout my career.

Where’s your favorite spot on campus?
Nemzek Field (particularly on Saturday afternoons in the fall)

What personal or professional achievement are you most proud of?
Being selected as a GTE Academic All-American in back-to-back seasons while helping the team win two conference championships and qualify for the National Playoffs in three consecutive seasons is something I’m very proud of, as well as having the opportunity to lead the Market Development and U.S. Operations teams at Enbridge for more than a decade.

In what ways have grit, humility and heart helped you in life?
Coach Brad Pole, defensive coordinator the last two years of my playing career and another strong influence in my life, was a passionate leader and introduced us to 10 commandments of success. One of these: – “Labor each day as if your life hung in the balance” – is a mantra that that has served well not only on the field but in life.

What does being a Dragon mean to you?
Being a Dragon provides a sense of purpose and belonging. I’m proud of my time at MSUM and very thankful for the relationships and friendships that have lasted a lifetime.

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