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  Feb 8, 2007

True grit triumphs -- Gabriel Pryor Owner and managing inspector of Pryority Inspections, LLC

First job: Land surveyor assistant, surveying DeSoto County land boundaries and unused farmland. I basically learned how to measure acreage with tape/step-off estimation and other methods. I did extensive walking with a measuring tape and learned how to read maps, blueprints and show surfaces on a map, which served me later in life.

Most recent job: My current business is inspecting homes and commercial structures throughout the Mid-South, assisting in the home-buying process. However, my inspection background began while being a code enforcement inspector and providing public relations for the city of Memphis.

Career highlights: The first career highlight was opening my first storefront business in 1992. More currently, passing and receiving state licensing in several states for all home and commercial buildings and having inspected the homes of local celebrities, including judges, athletes and blues singers.

Most satisfying career moment: Spearheading opposition to environmentally challenged companies on Brooks Road (residential area). Recreationally - sponsoring, coaching and mentoring a boys' AAU basketball team that was rated No. 2 in the national tournament in which they participated.

Career advice: Champions, winners and achievers are not born, but are made through their perseverance, observation and the application of acquired skills. When good people do or say nothing, bad people and adverse situations flourish.

Person I most admire: Nathaniel Whitfield, my grandfather, who kept alive the stories of my heritage and taught me life skills while painting a picture of a larger world and the fruits that await me.

Hobbies: I love sports, golfing, Pittsburgh Steelers, reading, traveling and playing dominoes and shooting pool with my sons and friends.

Last books read: "The Black West," by William Loren Katz, and Bill Clinton's autobiography. "The Black West" helped me pinpoint my proud heritage. Former President Clinton is a noted scholar who has lived life's ups and downs, politically and emotionally.

Favorite films: "The Outlaw Josey Wales" and "Buck and the Preacher." I love Western films, which reveal the early history of our country. That era is special because it produced my great grandparents and grandparents who reminisced to us about relocating to the Mid-South from another region in covered wagons pulled by oxen and horses.

Favorite vacation spot: The boardwalk at Atlantic City, N.J. This was before the gambling casinos were built and the boardwalk was full of activity and different cultures. The Atlantic coast was beautiful in the spring and in the fall. I loved walking on the boardwalk.

Change I would like to see: I would like to see people everywhere, not just in Memphis, care more, be more compassionate and giving. Helping the underprivileged (mentally, physically or financially) is a wonderful gift to have and all the verification a successful person needs - period.


Company: Pryority Inspections, LLC.
Hometown: Hernando, Miss.
Education: Hernando Central High School, State Technical Institute and Shelby State Community College - holds various state licenses and certifications in inspecting, mold, earthquake preparedness, etc.
Personal: Married to my high school sweetheart, Laverne Hill Pryor. Three children - Gabriel, Brandon and Sheena Brielle.

Civic involvement: Coaching and mentoring boys' sports through area associations, helping organize local Whitehaven neighborhood functions, sponsoring neighborhood meal programs through pastors and other community leaders.

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