Brandon Bressner

Brandon Bressner

1 - Why do you want to be a member of the KCBS Board of Directors?

I am a huge fan of KCBS and competition BBQ, so I want to serve and promote it in any way I can.  I want to represent all areas of KCBS without prejudice.  I am a judge, an organizer, a promoter and was a cook, so I am a fan of all aspects of KCBS.  I believe the KCBS Board of Directors should be represented by people from different backgrounds and talents with a willingness to work together to support and improve this amazing organization.  I would be honored to be a part of it!


2 – Identify the major areas (Cook, Judge, Organizer, Rep or Backyard Cook) in which you are involved.   

I was “hooked” on competition BBQ as soon as I first competed back in 2011.  As I sat waiting in the 90+ degree, sun baked, asphalt parking lot to hear my name called, I knew I didn’t want to be anywhere else. I couldn’t wait to hear my name called.  It didn’t happen that day, but I knew I wanted to stay involved.  I competed a few more times and never heard my named called, but I realized why I was so into this whole thing.  I loved being around the people – the teams, the reps, the judges and the volunteers.  So, to be around them more, I took the CBJ class and got involved with our local contest where I ran the backyard comps for several years until I became the organizer in 2016.  Since then, I became a master judge, ran our contest 7 more times (1 of only 2 contests held in Illinois in 2020), was 1 of the 6 awarded Outstanding KCBS Judges in 2020 the and continue to learn how to be better.


3 – Identify your major short-term goal and the major long-term goal, if elected to the Board of KCBS and your plan to implement change or improvement in order to carry out each of these goals.

Short-term: I want to learn more about KCBS to better understand the current policies and rules to find out how they came to be.  One of the main things I have learned when on any board is that you cannot change policy or rules quickly.  It would be my obligation to listen to new ideas, but to fully investigate the idea to make sure that it will benefit everyone in the organization. 

Long-term: I would like to establish a vision for where we want to be as an organization in the next 10 and 20 years.  Communication with members and staff on this is key.  We will also have to connect with and attract new members because they will be the ones running KCBS in the future.  I want this organization to thrive with the current generation and the next, so we need to innovate to do that.


4 – The KCBS Board of Directors is a working board that spends 10-20 hours and possibly more per month in furthering the mission of KCBS depending on your role as a member of the board. If elected, please explain “Your level of Commitment, Time and Energy” in your role as a director.

I am fully committed to using my time and energy to be a KCBS Director.  I run my own business, so I am used to being available any time of the day when I am needed and am willing to do that for KCBS as well.


5 – List how you have participated in KCBS and for how long?

I have been a member since 2011.  I have cooked a few contests, been a judge and volunteer for 11 years, held CBJ classes for 9 years and been an organizer of the Central Illinois BBQ Throwdown for 7 years.


6 – What skills do you possess that might help the KCBS Board of Directors in its mission, ie, Accounting, Legal, Marketing, etc.? How do you see using these skills as a KCBS Board of Director member?

I own/run a newspaper company that publishes 13 newspapers throughout Illinois and have done so for 22 years.  Right now, my daily duties at the company are overseeing the finances and administration, along with running the software company we created.  I have also been on and chaired several boards during my business career.

In regard to KCBS skills that can benefit our organization, I believe being an organizer of a contest that survived COVID can be beneficial. I learned a lot and am still trying to improve it.  When I am at other contests, I ask judges and teams a lot of questions.  What makes a good contest?  What makes a bad contest?  Where would you like to see improvement?  How was the communication with the organizer?  I get a lot of good information that way and would continue to ask those questions and more as a KCBS Board Director.