All proceeds raised by Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest help to support vital CF research, medical and educational programs.
There is no mistaking Brandon Schwan in a sea of people. At 6’3”, Brandon often towers over the rest of the room. It’s hard to imagine him as petite, but size is relative.
“I’m actually the shortest guy in my family. We get a kick out of watching heads turn when we walk into a restaurant together,” Brandon quips. “We can be pretty intimidating.”
It’s no surprise that Brandon and his siblings are all naturally athletic. Brandon played basketball, a pastime he continues to enjoy in his spare time. His younger sister, Alexandra, played lacrosse. And his younger brother, Evan, is a senior defensive end for the PENN STATE football team. Needless to say, between their athleticism and the hard work ethic instilled by their parents, you want the Schwans on your pick-up team.
Brandon was born in Pittsburgh and lived in Mt. Lebanon until he was two years old. His father worked for a large office furniture company, a job that moved the family to Montreal, Philadelphia and eventually more permanently to Harrisburg. Brandon attributes his own drive to his parents and especially his father.
“My dad works harder than anyone I’ve ever met,” Brandon says. “He always taught us that no news is good news. So I don’t really feel comfortable with accolades. I’m more concerned with whether the passion I have for what I do is reflected in my work.”
College took Brandon midway across the country to Purdue University in Indiana. The selection was anything but random, as Brandon’s father played football for Purdue and was on the athletic board of the university for several years in the early 2000s. He often accompanied his father on trips there. Brandon was happy to carry on the Schwan legacy at Purdue, earning his degree in finance and management.
While he learned a great deal from his father, Brandon readily admits that his mother was just as important to his development.
“I love to cook, which is something I picked up from my mom,” Brandon says. “Most people don’t know that I can sew. Back in college, friends would constantly ask me to repair their clothes. My mom insisted I learn these things so that I could always take care of myself.”
Now back in Pittsburgh, Brandon couldn’t be happier to settle into the city and participate in its resurgence. He enjoys urban living, exploring the best brunch spots and going out with friends. He has been with Fragasso since November 2012 and finds that helping people pursue their goals is the most rewarding part of his job.
To be recognized as one of The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 50 Finest is particularly humbling for Brandon. He is certainly honored but is quick to turn the attention away from himself and over to the organization for which he is working to raise money. You can help Brandon reach his fundraising goal by visiting his 50 Finest page. Honorees listed on the 50 Finest must demonstrate leadership, be successful in their chosen careers, cannot be currently engaged or married and exhibit dedication to assisting organizations to better the lives of others. Honorees must also commit to raising a minimum of $3,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and attend specified events.
About The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s mission is to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people who live with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care. All proceeds raised by Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest help to support vital CF research, medical and educational programs.
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