July 19, 2013

Brandon Dufour

Brandon Dufour

Age: 29

Title: General Manager

Company: All-Star Driver

Town where you work: Avon/Hartford

Town where you live: Watertown

College: Fordham University

What I do for fun: Golf, fitness, travel

Friends/Family that influence me: My fiancée, Teresa LaBarbera, and all my co-workers.

My Charity/Cause: Boys & Girls Clubs

My Passion, Hobby or Special Talent: These days my work is my biggest passion. My free time is spent with my family and friends, relaxing in one way or another!

'If you're going to play in the sandbox, pick the right sandbox to play in.'

What do you do?

I manage the day-to-day operations and business development at All-Star Driver, Connecticut's leader in driver's education.

Please describe your career path.

The magic of childhood and adolescence is all about dreams. At the top of the list are the images of those careers taken up when an adult: FBI agent, first person to travel to Mars, veterinarian, or inner city school teacher.

When I was growing up I saw myself as making it big time as a rock star in music. That dream had to be somewhat adjusted when I discovered that my talent wasn't in playing, composing, or singing music.

My true talent was business, and so I switched my focus to the music industry. My journey in that new direction began when I was a freshman at Fordham University in Manhattan. I knew I was on my way when I was offered an internship at MTV that quickly turned into a full-time job in only five weeks. I moved around the music business and in 2005 found a home with the Dave Matthews Band and ATO Records. At the young age of 23, I had realized my dream to work in the music business.

With this goal achieved, in June of 2007 I needed a new challenge. On a whim, I walked into my boss' office and quit. I then joined my family as an entrepreneur in the less luxurious but more stable line of work in the transportation and education Industries.

Today, I am working on All-Star Driver, the largest driver education school in Connecticut. My enterprise is one of the few that is consistently growing and hiring. With so many opportunities right in my new backyard, my former dreams and life in Manhattan seem very far away. But the skills I have been able to transfer from that experience remain invaluable, and I am excited to realize new goals and new dreams with continued personal and professional growth.

What's been your biggest challenge professionally?

Working with the State of Connecticut's various departments. The decisions they make are not always in the best interest of private business.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

I'd like to see All-Star Driver growing outside of Connecticut. There is also a long-term real estate investment plan in place; hopefully in 10 years we have acquired the property where our classrooms are housed. Personally, in 10 years we'll be well into marriage and most likely children. I hope to have a happy, healthy family that is full of energy and the desire to have fun together.

What is the best advice you received?

If you're going to play in the sandbox, pick the right sandbox to play in.

How are you involved in your community?

I sit on the board at a local theater and at the Boys & Girls Club. I see education as my best opportunity to change the world for the better.

Meet the 2013 Winners

Anthony G. Barrett

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Mario J. Bruno

Matthew Carbray

Raymond Cocozza

Maria Conlon

Dawn Crayco

Christopher Davis

Marc A. DiBella

Derek Donofrio

Sara-Beth Donovan

Brandon Dufour

Brandon M. Frame

Meghan Freed

Emily A. Gianquinto

Alyssa Goduti

Terese Guerrero

Melissa Harris

Tauheedah Jackson

Michael J. Kolosky

Julie Krug

Carolyn Kuan

Heather Lombardi

Jeremy Lowe

Concetta Maratta

Michael Mascaro

Brian Mauriello

Paul Mounds Jr.

Reem Nouh

Nathan Quesnel

Josh Reese

Jennifer Rizzotti

Carrie L. Rocha

Kendrick Trevor Roundtree Sr.

Shaun Sheridan

R. Scott Slifka

Jack Soos

Caitlin Thayer

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