Emily and Tony Graham met while participating in the leadership Granbury program several years ago. Ouring the leadership program, Tony put tape on his name tag to cover his first name “John.” He inscribed the name he goes by, “Tony” which is taken from his middle name Anthony. After the pair married, Emily had some fun taping over her maiden name “Burks”on the name tag and replacing it with “Graham.”


In 2010, 2 classmates found more than just a networking opportunity – they found love. Read their story from the January edition of the Hood County News Prime Magazine.

Leadership Granbury proves to be catalyst for match-making


It’s been said that you will find 10 e when you least expect it.

Emily Graham can attest to that.

She found her love on the bus, the Leadership Granbury bus.

“Actually it was back when Cranbury still had the trolley,” she clarified.

At the time, the former Emily Burks was executive director at the Hood County Senior Center. The Leadership Granbury program features once a month sessions to provide an overview of the community and challenges participants to become actively involved.

“When I joined the Leadership Granbury class of 2010-201 1, I knew that I would make a few networking contacts and give some more publicity to the Senior Center,” Emily recalled.

“What I didn’t know was that I would also meet my future husband.”


The 2010-11 Leadership class included a trust-building session with a rope course in Glen Rose.

When boarding the trolley for the return ride, Emily spotted an empty seat next to Tony Graham.

“I was just looking for someone to talk to. I told him that I was going to be his bus buddy,” Emily recalled,

Tony remembers talking to Emily and thinking, “She’s a nice person. When she sat next to me, I knew right away she was someone I was interested in.”

Tony was more than pleased when Emily passed out her business card to class members.

“Tony said, ‘Great! Now I have your cell phone number and I didn’t even have to ask!'” Emily said while remembering that day.

Tony and Emily hit it off pretty quickly.

“It didn’t take long to blossom into a friendship and then a relationship,” Emily said. They started dating in November 2010.


Soon it became obvious that the two were a “couple.”

“When Tony told his mom that he met me at Leadership Granbury, she just squealed!” Emily said laughing.

Tony, it seems, was not too keen on joining the Leadership Granbury class. In fact, he was pushed by his mother.

“My mother had been through the Leadership Granbury class and really enjoyed it,” Tony explained. “She really wanted me to attend so 1 could meet more people in the community and get more involved.

“And she was hoping I would meet someone special. At 30, I was getting a little old for the bar scene.”

Emily said it was unusual that both she and Tony attended Granbury schools, went to college and then started their careers in Granbury. Yet the two had never crossed paths,

“Probably because he’s five years older. So we were never in the same school together,” she said. “I was thrilled to have found someone so wonderful, and he was right here in my hometown.”


Tony proposed in July 2012, and the couple married May 19, 2013 at Brownstone Wedding Chapel in Weatherford.

Tony works in his family’s wholesale business, Specialty Parts and Electronic Components, better known as SPEC.

Emily is now Association Executive with the Granbury Association of Realtors.

“My family was here, his family was here, both of us worked here, and we both owned homes here. What an amazing scenario,

“I love Granbury, and the fact that I met someone who is tied in and a part of this town made our relationship even better,” Emily said with a big smile.

Click here to view the PDF of the Leadership Love Story