As a fifth-generation Idahoan, Todd Cranney, 39, always expected to be a farmer. But a world-altering event changed his trajectory from the farm to land him firmly into politics. It was his senior year at Brigham Young University and Cranney was working in Washington D.C when 9/11 happened. “Being in D.C., during a time of national crisis, increased my drive to reach out as far as I can to make the world a better place,” he says. “I always wanted to fulfill my family legacy of service and hard work. But I decided to take those values and dedicate them into causes for the greater good.”
Although politics may be a long way from the farm life, the basics of hard work and persistence are in his heart. Cranney says, “No matter where I am and what I’m doing, I am grounded by the lessons my father and the farm taught me.”
For Cranney, his faith taught him the concepts of values, work ethic, and service to others. His father exemplified faith-based life and work. And the family farm was where these values were put into action.
But as a teen, Cranney didn’t always act when his father asked him to. And when he avoided work, Cranney remembers, “My dad didn’t lecture or punish, he just did the work himself,” because his dad believed, “there’s no time like the present.” Watching his dad do the chores meant for him left him uneasy and a little embarrassed. Do good work and lead by example are just two of many lessons that Cranney credits for what he has accomplished today.
His farm-grown philosophy of loyalty and leadership have helped nurture political campaigns including Mitt Romney in 2012 and Meg Whitman for Governor in California. He also served as one of the top four leaders of the Republican National Convention where he oversaw delegate relations in all 50 states.
The roots of Cranney’s drive run deep. They continue to grow his passion of helping others reach their potential and achieve their goals. In 2013, Cranney harvested enough of a nation-wide network of influence and experience to co-found Riverwood Strategies. Riverwood offers services that include public affairs, strategic communications, business development, and political strategies.
Whether home on the farm or far away on the campaign trail, Cranney wakes up each morning happy and eager to work for clients, for the farm, and for the greater good. His respect for those who came before him keeps him focused on being part of the solution and relentlessly focused on making life better for the next generation.
When asked who would be his dream candidate, living or dead, Cranney says, “It would have been an honor to serve Ronald Reagan. A man who always had tremendous clarity on how he could be of value and service to the world.”
Most memorable airplane trip: “In 2012, I was flying on a small commercial airline from Las Vegas to Burbank. Just before the doors closed, a stylish very blonde woman cat-walked down the aisle. She was talking loudly on her cell phone, complaining about small planes, and juggling her bags. I got up, so she could get to her seat. I helped her get settled – putting her bags in the overhead compartment. I had a feeling she was “somebody” but couldn’t quite place her. We continued to talk casually. During the flight she pulled out her computer. And soon she very deliberately pulled up photos of herself at a party. That’s how I finally figured out that I’d been casually talking with Paris Hilton for the entire flight.”