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June 12, 2017

Faces of Fauquier: Hoping to help shape community

“The first thing I did when I moved back here and started working was to buy the fastest internet I could,” Brandon Campbell says.
Would I like Fauquier to change? Sure, but I want it to still have that small-town type feeling. I want to avoid having another Fairfax and Arlington on our hands.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
The freshly minted civil engineer probably could have worked for a big-time Northern Virginia consulting firm.

But Brandon Campbell, who in December earned his bachelor’s degree from George Mason University, decided he wanted to work in Warrenton, where he could help shape “my hometown” and Fauquier.

“There’s a special feeling to be able to help develop the community that you grew up in,” says Mr. Campbell, who in March joined Carson Land Consultants, a Warrenton-based land surveying, land planning and site design firm.

Working for a small company also allows him to learn a lot quickly, he says.

“A lot of my classmates that graduated (from George Mason) are at Dewberry, Atkins — famous engineering firms, huge — but they probably do a tenth of the things I do,” says the 23-year-old Warrenton resident, who had an internship with Carson Land Consultants last summer. “I’ve touched on pretty much everything there is to do with civil engineering.”

From concept to finished product, Mr. Campbell helps prepare a range of land-development documents and land-use applications that often require local government approval.

“I love what I do,” he says.

In some ways, he took to engineering and processes naturally, Mr. Campbell suggests.

“Growing up, my father would take apart computers,” he says. “I always thought that was so cool. So, we’d sit together, putting them back together. And, of course, I started to expand with cars, gadgets, gizmos — all of that. I guess I like to tinker because of him. So that led me to civil engineering.”

His father, Kevin Campbell, works as a systems engineer for a large Northern Virginia-based professional services and information technology company.

The son also wanted to return to Warrenton because he likes the town’s and Fauquier’s scale, lifestyle and familiarity.

Visiting colleges five years ago underscored that, Mr. Campbell says.

“When I went to see Mason, (Virginia) Tech, (James) Madison, those were really wake-up calls, because they’re in cities. And I was — I’ll call it — homesick. I loved the country, the small-town appeal. You know everyone on the street. People say, ‘Hi.’ They’re friendly.”

• Age

• Home 

• Family
Parents, Kevin and Maria Campbell.

• Education
Bachelor’s degree, civil and structural engineering, George Mason University, 2016; Fauquier High School, 2012.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
About 17 years.

• Why do you live here? 
Because my parents moved here. I remain here because I like it a lot. I grew up here. There’s a special feeling to be able to help develop the community that you grew up in.

• How do you describe this county? 
Very close-knit. Everyone’s friendly. You know everyone. My dad always said if I ever got in trouble, he’d know it, because he knows everyone in town.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
The infrastructure. I can go to places in Fauquier and lose a cell phone signal. Some of my friends don’t even have internet. Granted, it is the country, but it helps to be connected. I was spoiled when I got to (George Mason University), because of its fast internet.

The first thing I did when I moved back here and started working was to buy the fastest internet I could.

Would I like Fauquier to change? Sure, but I want it to still have that small-town type feeling. I want to avoid having another Fairfax and Arlington on our hands.

• What do you do for fun? 
Play video games; do hobbies with my friends; work on cars, because they’re big on cars.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
Usually, everybody wants to say, “Oh, I love Carousel,” or “I love the WARF.” I want to say Fauquier High School. I enjoyed high school a lot. It was a place where you gathered with your friends. I befriended a lot of my teachers there. I never saw school as a drag. I had a lot of freedom.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years? 
There’ll be so much traffic they’ll probably close Main Street (in Warrenton) and keep it as a (pedestrian mall). There’s always so much traffic cutting through Main Street. It’s insane.

There’ll definitely be a lot more home development. There’s a lot of land out here. More families are coming. Population increase, for sure. More businesses.

• Favorite TV show?
“Top Gear.”

• Favorite movie? 
Probably a movie series, because everyone’s making sequels, prequels, trilogies. For me, it’s the “Alien” series. It was the only really scary movie I could watch and not be terrified.

• Favorite book?
Favorite book would be like an encyclopedia. I didn’t really use books for the story. I used them more for information gathering. It’s a little weird, but I’ve never actually sat there and read a book, unless it was to learn an equation or to learn how to do something.

• Favorite vacation spot?
Boca Raton, Fla.

• Favorite food? 

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom? 
My dad. Find something you like to do and keep working at it, because you’ll never have a long day. A lot of people associate working with having to go somewhere just to make money. Coming here, I don’t consider this work.

• Who’s your hero and why?
My parents. My father wasn’t wealthy. He must have been working since middle school. Through each job, he’s progressed to working for a giant corporation as a systems engineer. My mother grew up in Colombia, South America. She eventually came to the United States. No college education — just worked and worked. They worked a lot of jobs they definitely didn’t like to get to where they are now. I consider my life easy, compared to what they had to go through.

They really showed that the American dream still exists and that if you try hard, eventually you can succeed.

• What would you do if you won $5 million in the lottery? 
Retire my parents. Not change my living style. I’ll still come to work. I’ll still live in a normal house, have a normal car. I don’t want to go too nuts. Commit to some charities. And, save some of it for me to retire someday.

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Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at, Don Del Rosso at or Editor Lou Emerson at
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