Sunday, February 17th, 2019

Bryan “Bubba” Miles for Chesapeake School Board Story


Local family man and mortgage lender with long record of helping children

by Candance Moore

Bryan “Bubba” Miles

Bryan “Bubba” Miles

Bryan Miles may be a fresh face in local politics, but he’s well known to those who work behind the scenes in Chesapeake communities. With no public funding, no party support, and little more than personally built relationships, he’s spent decades improving countless lives across the city. Now, having proven himself a wise financial steward with a strong sense of fairness, he’s ready to bring those qualities to the Chesapeake School Board.

He officially announced his campaign surrounded by a large gathering of grassroots supporters in February. Business associates, neighbors, and fellow philanthropists – most of whom had never been involved in campaigning before – signed on to support this genuine tell-it-like-it-is local father. It’s been uphill ever since as more and more campaign signs spread across the city.

“This is truly an independent groundswell of support from other parents,” Bryan notes. “I’m politically unaffiliated. All of this is made possible by ordinary people. If I should be fortunate enough to win election, I will appreciate who put me there.”

That sentiment is in many ways the story of Bryan’s life. From his days as an offensive lineman at Great Bridge High School, he learned how success was forged through teamwork.

His father was instrumental in forming OVM Financial. Yet despite this seemingly easy connection to the business world, a young Bryan sought the experience of a more challenging entry-level job. He spent the latter part of his teen years laboring with a shovel for Basnight Land & Lawn. Although he ultimately joined his father at OVM, he says he’s thankful for invaluable lessons learned in that season.

“No matter the field or industry, there’s no such thing as easy work,” Bryan insists. “Even in the financial world, we hit our share of obstacles that can only be overcome by gritting our teeth and pushing through them. I learned how to do that in some very hard jobs.”

He came to OVM Financial with an attitude of teamwork and an unstoppable willingness to get the job done. A good family with poor credit longed for the American dream - Bryan coached them until their situation improved. A single mother needed refinancing to save her home - Bryan moved mountains.

Bryan “Bubba” Miles with son, Brady, and wife, Kelly

Bryan “Bubba” Miles with son, Brady, and wife, Kelly

He learned to invest in the skills and knowledge of friends, and they found mutual success. OVM’s reputation flourished as doing the right thing became a profitable model.

Meanwhile, he married his wife Kelly, and along came a son named Brady. As the team at OVM Financial grew, Bryan soon found his life full of relationships, and he loved every minute.

“To any parents who are starting to think
they have no say in their child’s education,
I invite you to join me.
We’re an independent,
nonpartisan movement
that will speak for every student
 in Chesapeake.”

—Bryan “Bubba” Miles

Bryan joined the Shriner’s Club, the Chesapeake Masonic Lodge, and later founded an initiative to collect items for underprivileged local students.

“Kelly and I did our best every morning to send Brady off to school well prepared. Then we heard about schools in Chesapeake where children showed up without basic clothing items, having eaten no breakfast, and we couldn’t imagine how it made their parents feel,” Bryan relates. “We had to help.”

His Socks and Mittens campaign has collected thousands of pairs since 2016, organized entirely by nonpartisan volunteers. Local churches stepped up to provide breakfast at no cost to the school system.

One day when he took his son Brady fishing, he thought of how many children couldn’t afford such luxuries. Now he routinely plans outings with kids who need a little cheering up. He also supports Brady’s travel baseball team.

The more involved he became in helping children, the more he saw a need for better leadership on the school board. The school experience no longer resembled what Bryan remembered from his youth.

Kelly, a bus driver for Chesapeake City Schools, began to come home with troubling accounts. Rezoning began to dominate the news in Hickory. Broken promises of much–needed repair left students shivering in Western Branch. When Bryan recently visited a dilapidated school to ask about city intervention, faculty said they felt completely ignored.

In Bryan’s usual no-nonsense way, he sat down to work out solutions. What emerged was a platform to run on. He realized it was time to seek election himself.

“I’m not doing this for any political ambition,” he insists. “I already have a great career that provides for my family. I’ve already proven I can make a difference and find fulfillment outside of public office. My only goal is to help local families who are rapidly losing their voice in this system.”

Bryan’s platform is centered on making fair choices that benefit students the most overall. He seeks to remove favoritism, particularly when it comes to funding, and see to it that repair promises are kept. He also wants to improve training and benefits for bus drivers so that qualified, dependable drivers are empowered to succeed.

Security, a hot topic both in national and local news, has been slow to change in Hampton Roads due to budget concerns. Bryan has a plan to partner with retired military and law enforcement. He believes that community resources, not extravagant budgets, should be explored first.

Then there’s redistricting, the word on everyone’s lips south of Hanbury. Although it’s an unpopular subject, Bryan doesn’t shy away.

“The question isn’t if redistricting will happen, but when and how. Parents can’t just hope it goes away,” Bryan says. “If more of us join together with a pragmatic approach, we’ll have more control over the outcome.”

These and other issues are debated with vigor on Bryan’s campaign Facebook page. As voters from across the political and geographic spectrum bring their concerns, Bryan wholeheartedly listens. He’s frequently seen offering his personal cell phone number to those who feel unheard.

“To any parents who are starting to think they have no say in their child’s education, I invite you to join me,” Bryan urges. “We’re an independent, nonpartisan movement that will speak for every student in Chesapeake.”

The Friends of Bryan "Bubba" Miles for School Board

(757) 285-7500