Brian Conley is Bryan County’s director of information technology, and as such strives to make the workings of local government accessible to both its members and the public.
In his spare time, Conley also happens to sing and play guitar and has developed quite a devoted following.
Here’s a Q& A with Brian.
Q: Please tell our readers something about your background:
A: Pembroke has been my hometown for most of my life. What I enjoy the most is spending quality time making memories with my girlfriend Stephanie and our children. There is always fun to be had when we can gather all 5 of our children together along with their grandparents. Growing up through my high school years I spent most of my time working for my father, Billy Conley, at both Pembroke Pharmacy and the Green Roof Restaurant.
After graduating from Bryan County High School followed by several years of college between Georgia Southern University and Ogeechee Technical College, I began my professional career as the Information Technology Director for Bryan County. Over the past 19 years, I have received certifications as both Local Government Chief Information Officer (LGCIO) and Certified Government Chief Information Officer (CGCIO) through a partnership with the Georgia Chapter of Government Management Information Sciences (GA-GMIS) and the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
“Working smarter and not harder” utilizing technology has always been a passion of mine. Technology is constantly changing, and I am eager to keep up, even completing a Master Certificate in Enterprise Cybersecurity Leadership earlier this year.
Q: When did you first start performing?
A: As early as I can remember I would listen to my mother, Linda Conley, play piano and occasionally the guitar. It was around the age of 14 or 15 when my interest peaked. She would show me chords on the guitar; I would practice for hours to get it right. In 2002, I began performing on stage as a lead guitarist and backup singer in the cover band “Perception”. In 2008, I joined the Christian band “Driven” from First Baptist Church in Pembroke. It was not until 2011 that I began performing acoustic shows as a solo artist.
Q How many times have you performed live?
A: I do not think I could give an accurate count. I remember doing six shows in four days back during the peak season of 2019. Two or three shows each week was normal before COVID.
Q: How many instruments do you play?
A: Most of the time I play acoustic, electric, or bass guitar. Occasionally I will play a few songs on the piano.
Q: How would you describe your music?
A: Fun and energetic.
Q: What’s your favorite type of music to perform?
A: Southern rock is always fun. I cover a broad range of genres when performing. You may hear Johnny Cash one minute and Van Morrison or Bon Jovi the next.
Q: Who’s your favorite performer? Type or Music?
A: I enjoy many types of music and have favorite performers from each genre. Some of my top choices are Bon Jovi, Matchbox 20, Garth Brooks and Luke Combs.
Q: What’s the biggest performance for you so far?
A: A few of my biggest performances have been GA-GMIS, GMIS International and the Georgia Police K9 Foundation’s annual fundraiser.
Q: People seem drawn to your live music. What is the biggest compliment you’ve gotten as a performer?
A: I have received multiple compliments from Stuart Breed (stuartbreed.com). He is an audio engineer / record producer best known for his work with Art Garfunkel and Geoff Emerick.
Q: Finally, what is your goal as a musician? Why do it?
A: One of my favorite inspirational quotes was from Maya Angelou. She said, “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. I believe music is no different. Everyone has feelings and if I can bring joy and happiness into someone’s day, then I have met my goal.”