2019 Trailblazer: Bryan Hunter
Bryan Hunter, 36
Community of Hope Funeral Service, Hobbsville
A graduate of Fayetteville Technical Community College, which boasts North Carolina’s only mortician training program, Hunter worked in the industry for nearly 20 years before he and his wife, Mattea, started their business in Hobbsville. The unincorporated town of about 1,100 people is 30 miles west of Elizabeth City and is in Gates County, which has a population of about 11,500 and three mortuaries. Mattea adds lots of business experience, having worked as a customer-service manager at American Express Corp. and Nordstrom Inc. While Hunter is also licensed in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., he says he always wanted to return to serve families in the community where he was raised. An active member of the Gates County Chamber of Commerce and a minister, Hunter and Mattea have two children, Zayah, 6, and Zachary, 4.