Sue Brayton: The voice of Flint Communications


You may have heard her voice. She might have helped you find a Flint Group employee or welcomed you to our Fargo office. She probably made you smile.

Her name? Sue Brayton, receptionist extraordinaire.

Fit for FlintSue Brayton

Sue has been the receptionist at Flint Communications for 12 years. As the first point of contact for our company, she is the manager of first impressions.

Sue describes her duties: “I say ‘Flint Communications, how may I direct your call?’ all day long with a smile on my face, and I get to talk to people from all over the country, and even the world. I also welcome guests, design the employee newsletter, order groceries and office supplies, deliver mail, manage employees’ schedules, and keep employees informed of agency business.”

A couple years ago, Sue took an online career questionnaire to find out, scientifically, which profession would best fit her. Based on her interests and skills, the survey indicated she would make a good—yep, you guessed it—receptionist. How’s that for a perfect fit?

Live. Learn. Teach.

Outside of work, one of Sue’s greatest passions is teaching.

“I love to learn and I love to teach others what I have learned. I think there are so many wonderful, interesting things in this world,” Sue says. “I get so excited when I learn something new that I just have to share it.”

Her interest in teaching began about 25 years ago when she was asked to teach a small class of 8-year-olds at church. Sue was skeptical of her abilities, but the experience opened her eyes to what is now one of her greatest passions.

“Public speaking used to terrify me; but if I get to talk about things I know and love, then go ahead and fill the room,” says Sue.

Sue has been speaking to youth and adults throughout Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota for more than 25 years. She has taught more than 1,000 classes/seminars on a variety of topics, including arts and crafts, cooking, calligraphy, scrapbooking, baking, flower arranging, quilting, religion, organization skills, first aid, provident living, life skills, and much more.

“I’m not an expert on any of it, just willing to share what I have learned,” Sue says.

    Sue Brayton poses with her students after a class on flower arranging. The flowers came from Sue’s own yard, and her Flint friends donated the vases.

Sue Brayton poses with her students after a class on flower arranging. The flowers came from Sue’s own yard, and her Flint friends donated the vases.

The topics she is most enthusiastic about, and has spoken the most on, are religion and the power everyone has to make positive choices. “I like to motivate people to be a positive influence for good,” Sue says.

Focusing on family

Amid her teaching and receptioning (yes, this is a word), Sue has always stressed the importance of family time. She and her husband, Brian, established Monday as “family night” long ago and, even though their children are all grown up and married, they have never looked back.

The Brayton family, grandchildren and all

The Brayton family, grandchildren and all

“I think it helped our family knowing each of them was valued and that home was important. We would play games, read stories, eat lots of Oreo cookies and talk, talk, talk. Now, Brian and I mainly just eat Oreos,” says Sue.

She and her husband also reserve one night a week as “date night,” which can range from something as simple as a bowl of popcorn and a good movie to a fancy dinner and a play.

“Thursday nights always have and always will belong to me and Brian,” says Sue. “Just ask our kids—sometimes one will call during our date and, realizing they’ve called on a Thursday night, quickly apologize for interrupting. It’s pretty cute.”

Sue and her hubby, Brian

Sue and her hubby, Brian

With such a tight-knit family, it’s no wonder that Sue’s children have followed in their mother’s footsteps and embraced opportunities to teach.

Her daughter Leah teaches online scrapbooking courses through My Scrapbook Nook, and has her own scrapbooking/lifestyle blog that has over 1.4 million hits. Her other daughter, Janice, creates YouTube videos on how to make homemade greeting cards, and her son, Bernie, served two years as a missionary in Australia.

Sue is proud of her children and their commitment to sharing their knowledge with others. “It’s nice to know they are having a positive influence on others,” says Sue.

Looking ahead

When she and Brian retire, Sue hopes the two of them can serve full time for her church, perhaps on an island in the South Pacific, such as Aitutaki.

If that doesn’t work out, Sue says she wouldn’t mind being a queen. “I would wave a lot, do charitable work and have my own entourage to take care of all of my needs.”

If you hear about an opening somewhere, let her know by leaving a comment.

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