Meet Ron Brandes – A Dedicated Educator Turned Baltimore Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

In a world where career paths often follow a linear trajectory, there are individuals like Ron Brandes,  who redefine what it means to truly live a purposeful and impactful life. A University of New Haven graduate with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA, Ron’s journey took a surprising turn from the corporate world to the classroom, and later, to the bustling streets of Baltimore as an entrepreneur and community advocate.

Teaching kids

For 15 years, Ron Brandes dedicated his time and expertise to shaping young minds at North End Middle School in Waterbury, Connecticut, where he grew up. As a math teacher, he worked hard to inspire inner city students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. His commitment went beyond just teaching equations; he aimed to empower his students with a strong foundation in mathematics that would serve them throughout their lives. His passion for education and his ability to connect with students made him a beloved figure in the school and the community. Ron was recognized as the leader in bringing about recycling at the school and engaging interested students in becoming advocates for the environment.

Conscious of the environment

As a dedicated educator, Ron channeled his passion for sustainability into activism and got involved with the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL). Recognizing the urgent need for environmental awareness and action, he launched a CCL sustainability day that encouraged local residents and their families to embrace sustainable practices. This initiative turned out to be a resounding success, bringing together the community and sparking meaningful conversations about sustainability. He also advocate for change on a legislative level, collaborating with CCL to propel conversations about sustainable policies and practices. Through his multifaceted efforts with the Citizens Climate Lobby, Ron Brandes demonstrated his unwavering dedication to creating a more sustainable future for his community and beyond.

Move to Baltimore

After years of impacting the lives of countless students, Ron chose to embark on a new chapter in his life. Taking early retirement, he teamed up with his sister, Sue Hilger, and her husband, David Hilger, to launch Move Junk in 2022. Move Junk is more than just a junk removal, demolition, and dumpster rental business; it’s a venture driven by a desire to provide a valuable service to the community, while promoting sustainability and responsible waste management.

The move from teaching to entrepreneurship might seem like a leap, but Ron’s passion for making a difference remains unwavering. Settling in Baltimore, he found himself in a vibrant city that echoed his own energy and enthusiasm. Baltimore, with its rich history and diverse culture, resonated with Ron’s spirit. He’s thrilled by the constant activity and the feeling that there’s always something happening, whether it’s a community event, an art show, or a local market.

Loving Patterson Park

Patterson Park became Ron’s new home, and he quickly fell in love with the area. The park’s beauty, along with the warmth of its residents and their four-legged companions, created a sense of community that he thoroughly enjoys. 

Making a difference

Ron’s love for Baltimore extends beyond his own neighborhood; he’s become a volunteer for Vehicles For Change, an organization that helps low-income families purchase affordable cars that provide reliable transportation. Ron’s role involves teaching math to their interns, a testament to his commitment to education and giving back to those in need.

A natural networker

But Ron’s impact doesn’t stop there. He’s also an active networker, fostering connections within the Baltimore community. He’s a part of Pacesetters and BON of Towson, two groups that share his enthusiasm for growth, collaboration, and community development. Through his involvement, he’s able to contribute his expertise, while continuing to learn from fellow entrepreneurs and professionals.

In the ever-evolving journey of Ron, we find a tapestry of education, entrepreneurship, and community engagement. From his teaching roots to his bold move into the business world, Ron’s story is a testament to the power of embracing change, pursuing passions, and leaving an indelible mark on the lives of others. As Baltimore continues to thrive with his contributions, Ron Brandes stands as a shining example of how one individual’s journey can shape a city and inspire those around them.