By Angela Higginbotham
Originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Brian Quirk moved to Jacksonville 30 years ago to start a new business venture. He is a graduate of Florida State University, the University of North Florida and he obtained his M.B.A from Webster University. Spending much of his career in education positions at the University of Phoenix and ITT Technical Institute, Quirk currently serves as executive director of City College, a nonprofit institution of higher learning.
Quirk has served on the local, state and national board of directors for the Native Sons and Daughters Association for many years. He remains passionate about volunteering, spending time with children and encouraging fathers to connect with their sons and daughters through activities offered within the Native Sons and Daughters organization. He and his wife of 24 years, Paula, have two children, Emily and Evan. Emily Quirk followed in her father’s footsteps, and is a graduate of Florida State University. Evan Quirk is currently studying at Florida State College in Jacksonville. The Quirks have lived happily in the Mandarin neighborhood of Tymber Hammock for the past 20 years.
- What do you enjoy most about living in Mandarin?
There are two things I enjoy most about living in Mandarin. Driving home on Mandarin Road. That is such a beautiful stretch of road. I also love that everything you could possibly need or want is located right there on San Jose Boulevard. You never really need to leave Mandarin for anything because everything is so convenient.
- Can you explain the purpose of the Native Sons and Daughters Association and your passion to remain involved?
The association is a father/child program that was started more than 80 years ago. In order for a child to earn a patch, the father has to complete the activity with them. The organization is based on a Native American theme. Several dads got together 15 years ago and made a strong effort to keep the program alive. We have a large variety of events and it’s only limited to what dads are willing to do. We go to sporting events, camping, bowling and so many other activities. The program encourages time to spend with family in a fun, relaxing environment, without distractions of cell phones or anything else. When I was young, most all of my interactions with my dad were in the form of a team with him watching from the stands. A flyer came home one day about the association, and my wife encouraged me to check it out. I spent so much time with both of my kids while enjoying the activities. I get a lot of benefit and value out of staying involved with the program.
3. What are your goals for the future of the association?
My goals revolve around just keeping the traditions of the association alive and continuing to move forward and be productive in the community while encouraging fathers to spend more one on one time with their kids. I hope my son can also enjoy the association with his children one day.
- What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?
I would say getting my first child through college and into her career has been my greatest accomplishment.
- What do you enjoy doing outside of work and volunteering?
Activities with my family. We have been season ticket holders for a long time, so we enjoy Florida State football games. I also get a lot of enjoyment out of playing golf. I don’t get to play as often as I’d like, but I really enjoy it.
Photo courtesy Brian Quirk.
Brian Quirk with children Evan and Emily.