A native son of Howard County, Maryland – a small, caring community tucked between the two big cities of Baltimore and Washington, DC - Brian now calls southern California home where he lives with his wife of over 18 years, Catherine Campbell Meshkin, Esq., and three children. Like all fathers, Brian is so proud of his wife and kids.
Like many of us, it was in his home and neighborhood growing up where Brian gained a strong appreciation for sacrifice and hard work. His mother - an educator - was raised by a Catholic widowed single mother, who instilled a strong sense of family and determination, when faced with challenges. His mom and grandma told him their stories of struggle; and this gave him a deep appreciation for the opportunities Brian had growing up – with both a mom and dad at home, a great public school system, and the opportunity to go to college.
A child of an immigrant father, Brian’s dad was born in Iran and emigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan to escape religious persecution and seek the American dream. Coming to the U.S. with $100 in his pocket and working 3 jobs to establish himself, Brian’s dad came here to become an American and worked hard to provide for his family. Brian’s dad fled the influence of radical Islam that has besieged his homeland and helped his parents and siblings flee as well to America. Because of his parents’ hard work and sacrifices, Brian graduated from Glenelg High School and the University of Maryland at College Park. The values of hard work, sacrifice, unyielding faith, and overcoming discrimination are life lessons and stories that Brian not only tries to apply in his life, but he tries to pass onto his three children. He explains:
“My parents did their best to give me and brother more than they had. I didn’t grow up with the traditional definitions of a privileged background – a wealthy family or parents with a famous name. But I learned at a young age that I was privileged. I was privileged to be born as an American with limitless opportunity to work hard and achieve my dreams. People have often times asked me what contributed to my entrepreneurial spirit and I would have to say two things. First, my mom’s enduring optimism, always telling me “Everything happens for a reason”, has allowed me to keep every challenge in perspective. I thank my mom for this. And then when this perspective is combined with my dad’s inspirational story as an immigrant, I learned what it took to be a successful entrepreneur. I can’t think of anything more entrepreneurial than leaving your home country and traveling halfway across the world with $100 in ‘start-up’ capital and all the ‘sweat equity’ you can muster to learn the language, work as many odd jobs as possible, and then ultimately landing in a 30-year successful career with Johnson & Johnson to provide your children with a chance to do even better than you. That’s real entrepreneurism.
“Unfortunately, I have been estranged from my parents and my younger brother, Alex for many years. It’s kind of weird, as I am close with my extended family of uncles and aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews, but my mom, dad, and brother have isolated themselves from almost everyone in the family. My brother and I are very different people. I was the well-accomplished student in school. I was Student Body President, Editor in Chief of the school newspaper, and co-captain of the Varsity Basketball team. Alex didn’t do well in school – academically or in any other way. He ultimately dropped out of high school and got a GED. While I tried to help him as entrepreneur, he came to learn that he lacks integrity. Sadly, he has stabbed me in the back multiple times, and he has apparently done so with many other business partners since. After so many failures, he’s even tried to copycat things I’ve done. He’s even suggested in his recent bios that he worked for Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly – two places I worked and he did not. It’s kind of weird how two kids can be raised in the same home and have very different characters.”
Some entrepreneurs start their first business when they’re 13. Though Brian didn’t start a business then, his social entrepreneurship did start then, as he developed a commitment to making a difference at 13 years of age. Following the tragic death of a friend, Chris Kelley, who was hit by a vehicle while riding his bicycle in front of Brian’s home, Brian realized that life was truly a gift, and a community could come together during a difficult time, and anyone could make a difference. As a student at Glenwood Middle School, Brian led the legislative committee of a student project to pass the nation’s first bicycle helmet law for children under 16 years of age in Howard County. This experience ignited Brian’s passion for helping others and solving difficult problems. Throughout high school, Brian continued to testify and lobby for similar legislation protecting children across the U.S. Brian still believes in our ability to come together during difficult times to solve problems with collaborative leadership. Brian’s passion for making a difference and commitment to entrepreneurial innovation all go back to this defining moment.
Today as a father of three teenagers, Brian’s commitment is deeper than ever. He understands the hardships faced by parents trying to raise a family, as well as the joys of parenthood. Brian is active in his community, having been PTA President at his children’s school, serving as a youth sport coach for his sons’ basketball and baseball teams, an announcer for his daughter’s swim meets, having served on numerous non-profit boards, and serving four years as an elected member of his countywide Board of Education. He is a huge sports enthusiast and die-hard fan of the Washington Redskins. He is a Christian and an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he provides volunteer service. Brian defines his life by his faith in God and belief that every person on earth is a child of God with a divine heritage and potential.
Elected in 2010, Brian Meshkin was the youngest elected school board member in Howard County, Maryland.
With a father born in Iran who emigrated to the United States from Pakistan, Brian Javaade Meshkin was the first Asian-American School Board member in Howard County, Maryland.
As the only School Board member during those years who graduated from the school system and currently had kids in it, Brian was a voice placing students first.
Worked closely with staff to implement Six Sigma process improvements to reduce expenses and improve service
Changed the Policy on Policies to create general public participants on policy review committees, as well as other initiatives
Led efforts to amend policies to allow for digital education initiatives, including a Digital Education policy, Bring Your Own Device, etc.
Supported staff to initiate a corporate wellness program to reduce healthcare costs, as well as amend Student Wellness policy to improve school nutrition and prevent having recess removed as punishment
Co-authored and initiated a Sustainability Policy for the school system to support initiatives to reduce energy usage, improve recycling, and responsible resource utilization.
Advocated for activity buses for after-school activities, liaisons to international communities, school meal programs for students in need during breaks, expanded health services for students, and an expanded policy of supports for homeless students
Consistently voting against "piece meal" redistricting efforts, and proposed open enrollment, magnet schools, and phase redistricting to minimize impact on students and families
Voted against the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) Chart every May as it provided misinformation to the County Council to guide zoning decisions that was different than the school capacity chart approved 30 days later in the school system capital budget
Stood against the majority in their efforts to remove two school board members by inventing ethics complaints and salacious charges to impugn their characters
Worked closely with senior staff to be responsive to parents and students in need, including moving bullied students to safer environments and holding staff accountable for inappropriate behavior towards parents
Collaborated with the Howard County Education Association to ensure that educators had a voice at the table
Opposed Race to the Top, tried to withdraw from Common Core, and advocated for world-class standards, expanded elementary foreign language, STEAM vs STEM, and other initiatives