When I was a kid, I was surrounded by friends that would take their G.I. Joe figurines and their Tonka trucks to the backyard with the sole intent of destroying them.
That wasn’t me.
In fact, not only did I keep all my toys in completely pristine condition, I had a specific way of playing with them. Some kids were content ramping their Hot Wheels off a ramp. I was content only when I could get it to “look cool.” Getting a stunt to look cool meant putting my face underneath the ramp, then moving the car in slow motion off it, then over my face, perfectly replicating an action movie.
Yes, that was me.
When I played with Batman action figures, Robin was actually Batgirl in disguise who had a secret love affair with the Joker, challenging her allegiances to both factions. My Terminator toys came with ethical quandaries of the nature of self and the definition of a soul – could one be transplanted into a machine, and if so, are you the same being or something new?
Playtime was exhausting, but rewarding.
I’m grown up now (in a manner of speaking), but I still hold storytelling in high regard. I’m more corporate now, I wear business casual clothing, and I’m a husband and father. But at heart, I’m still that eight-year-old boy rolling a toy car over my face.
This is me. And now I have a baby.
Brandon Daniels is currently an internal communications specialist at Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC), a Fortune 51 company and the nation’s second-largest transportation fuels refiner. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Film and Video Production and a minor in Advertising and Public Relations from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, and later earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Multimedia Communication from Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida.
Brandon began his communications career in 2005 as a video producer and editor at Ardent Productions. He joined MPC in 2006 as an Advanced Media Specialist, producing videos, illustrations, and graphics. In 2012, he became a Communications Manager, serving as the primary media spokesperson for operations and special projects. In this role, he launched the company’s successful social media strategy, an accomplishment for which he has been invited to speak at communications conferences across the U.S., from Times Square in New York to Epcot at Disney World. Brandon’s communications strategies have been featured in nearly a dozen publications, and he is the recipient of two Ragan Communications awards for engagement and social media campaigns.
During this time, he was a coach for Liberty-Benton High School’s speech and debate team, leading three students to the receive awards at the state championship tournament. In 2013, he became an adjunct professor in the Department of Communications at University of Findlay, teaching Multimedia Communication and Introduction to Speech. Brandon also spent several years teaching a variety of adult education classes focused on marketing and technology at Millstream Career Center.
In 2016, Brandon transitioned into his current role as an internal communications specialist, supporting 1,300 employees across 80 U.S. locations in MPC’s Terminal, Transport and Rail organization. In this role, he develops communications campaigns and leverages emerging technologies to increase employee engagement and achieve organizational alignment.
Brandon is active within the community. He previously served as Marketing Committee Chair for the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts and as president of the board of directors for Hancock Youth Leadership. He currently serves as advisory board vice chair for Hancock County’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and is a board member at Findlay First Church of the Nazarene.
In his spare time, Brandon enjoys watching movies, drawing, and writing short stories. He lives with his wife and daughter in northwest Ohio.