Brett Wilson had no master plan for his future when he left Troy University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. However, he did take with him lessons and experiences that he said still serve him well today.
Wilson, publisher of PARADE magazine, began his trek into the media industry as a regional marketing manager for Southern Living magazine in 1987. Today, his resume reads like a “who’s who” of the publishing industry – Time magazine, Sports Illustrated, Money magazine and USA Today.
“I have always felt that I have been extremely fortunate to work for some of the coolest media properties and to have a front-row seat for some of the most exciting and challenging times in the media industry,” Wilson said.
As publisher for Parade, the popular magazine supplement distributed by more than 510 Sunday newspapers including the Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald and The Washington Post, Wilson is responsible for all advertising sales and marketing efforts.
Growing up in Atlanta, Wilson came to TROY on a Wallace Leadership Scholarship and made the most of the opportunities with which he was presented.
“I loved my time at TROY,” he said. “I served for president of the student union for two years at a time when we started aggressively going after concerts that brought quality entertainment to the University. Those were really fun times to be at TROY.”
Wilson credits the faculty in the Sorrell College of Business for providing him with a solid foundation for a successful career, pointing to one instructor who had a tremendous impact on his life.
“Steve Garrott (professor in Business Programs) was my faculty advisor, and he was great,” Wilson recalls. “He was one of those guys that woke me up to the opportunities available for a successful career in marketing and sales. Steve really prepared us for the real world, telling us up front that we may struggle for a while but if we worked hard and were diligent we could make a really good living in marketing and sales.”
Wilson speaks very favorably of his TROY experience.
“I was able to get some real-world experience at TROY through working with the student union and through internships I was able to get,” he said. “Those were fun and valuable experiences.”
Brett and his wife, Patricia, live in Connecticut with their two children – Taylor and Sara.