If you’ve ever had the distinct pleasure of meeting Heather Brent, you know she is a force to be reckoned with. The former broadcast journalist turned public relations practitioner is a fireball of energy and exudes a passion for all things San Joaquin. Between her full-time job as Public Relations Director for Financial Decisions in Stockton to sitting on several local boards and now even as a stand-up comedian, Brent fulfills her life-long motto of “Stay Fearless.”
A native of Linden, or as she likes to point out, “The Cherry Capital of the World,” her motivation for giving back to the community is personal. She is the product of a single mom who struggled to make ends meet, but always did. As a young woman, Brent recalls going to Work Net with her mother to apply for jobs. One time, while at Work Net with her mom, they told her she could work for the youth summer theater program where she was paid minimum wage to travel around SJ County as a stagehand. Brent fondly recalls that summer as the best of her life!
When she was in her mid-20’s, and a mother of two young children, Brent decided to go back to school at Sacramento State. While she was there, she landed an opportunity that would forever change her trajectory in life—an internship with CBS13 and GoodDay Sacramento. Her drive to succeed left her working grueling hours, but her determination led the news director to put her on air. A path in broadcasting gave her a platform to give back to the community she grew up in.
Within broadcasting, Brent was able to blend philanthropy with community work, feeding her soul and redefining her purpose. It also gave her a strong platform to stand on, one that she uses for good in every way possible. She holds seats on the Support Stockton Police Foundation and the Mary Graham Children’s Foundation, and is currently chairing/co-chairing events for the Police Foundation and for the American Cancer Society. She is one of the region’s most sought-after emcees for fundraisers and helps to get the word out through various media outlets when an organization needs promoting.
Her advocation of the Support Stockton Police Foundation is a personal one. When Brent left her reporting career behind, Law Enforcement was facing more scrutiny than ever before. Her number one deciding factor in shifting gears was that she was offered a career with a company that deeply cared for supporting the Stockton Police Department. It was a department that Brent had grown to love and admire during her time reporting. She now helps raise funds that directly impact the department. Funds that help different divisions like the Mounted Patrol and K9 unit. “Being a part of helping put together events that involve the community and the officers, that help strengthen the relationships, is what’s most important to me.” Brent explained. “I just wish I could do more.”
But she has undoubtedly done plenty and has no intention of slowing down. In the midst of raising her two children, working a full-time job and conquering the world, one cause at a time, she has taken on another endeavor. Brent has taken her platform and turned it into a stage. A stage where she performs stand-up comedy, a new challenge she has enjoyed tackling with laughter.
And while many folks like to focus on the negative in our community, Brent points out it’s easy to advocate on behalf of San Joaquin County. “This county is BEAUTIFUL!” Brent boasts. “We live in the agricultural heartland of the world and have so much to offer. From farmer’s markets, festivals, multi-cultural events, and wineries, I am truly blessed to live here!”
Her biggest takeaway is that when it comes to our community, every little bit helps. She encourages us all that if you can’t afford to donate to an organization, volunteer. If you don’t have time to volunteer, then share the organization with others. If we want a better community we ourselves must do and be better and not leave it all up to our city and community leaders.
Brent is the epitome of her own life’s motto— stay fearless! She reminds us not to let fear get in the way of what you want. “I truly believe if you want something bad enough, are willing to put in the hard work, and remain patient AND fearless, anything is possible,” Brent says.