HUNTSVILLE — Like many in North Alabama, Troy Bye is a newcomer, rather, a very enthusiastic newcomer, to the area.
“We moved into our new home at the end of December 2021, so like eight months,” Bye said. “I had been in Virginia for 40 years and it was just time for a change. The D.C. traffic is intense and there are just too many people, and it is too expensive.
“I jumped at the opportunity to transfer to Huntsville with my company, ManTech.”
Along with his job as executive director of ManTech in Huntsville, Bye is the man behind the Our Town Podcast.
Bye said the Our Town Podcast showcases all that is good in Huntsville. Each week guests are invited from business, sports, entertainment, education, the arts, and so much more to discuss all aspects of living and working in Huntsville.
The podcast isn’t your typical dodgy sound, low-res production, either. Bye uses a three-camera set up with professional audio and distributes each episode in video and audio formats. The video version also contains clips as part of his conversations with guests.
For example, as part of a segment called “The Pic 6” Bye shows six photos that have meaning to his guests and ask their first word or phrase reaction.
Currently on episode 23, Bye has interviewed an FBI special agent, business leaders, a world-famous pizza maker, and local creatives.
“I love creating content and having complete control over the creative element and technical elements,” he said. “I am always trying new things and pushing myself to be progressive and make the overall production as complicated yet professional as possible.”
Bye said he also appreciates connecting with the community around him.
“I genuinely enjoy meeting people and hearing about their life’s story, what makes them tick, and otherwise how they got to where they are in life,” he said.
The Our Town Podcast reflects Bye’s admiration for his new city.
“This is a unique town,” said Bye. “There is a hunger for sports, entertainment, the arts, and so many other great things that are cultivated by the great mix of folks in this town. People here are genuinely kind, nice, and down to earth and want to help one another succeed.
As episodes can stretch past two hours, Bye said he hopes people will enjoy a deep dive into long-form content.
“I love the journey that I take with each guest in probing them with questions that allow the viewer/listener the unique opportunity to learn the untold story or the story behind each guest,” Bye said.
“While I do not always feel comfortable saying it, I do think that I am pretty good at doing it so I am trying to create my opportunity to possibly create a new career path.”
He also has advice for others, like him, who have moved or will be moving to North Alabama.
“I would tell families that come here, to come here with a sincere intent of creating an ‘Our Town’ attitude and mentality,” Bye said. “One of my biggest pet peeves is hearing people from the West mock our beloved foothills of the Appalachian Mountains because they are not as big as the Rockies. Or someone from the West Coast insisting that the Pacific Ocean is better than our Gulf or the nearby Atlantic. I always invite those people to return to where they came because we don’t want to hear it.
“This is Alabama. This is Huntsville. This is ‘Our Town’ and we love it as if we were born here. It’s all about attitude.”
With his signature humor, Bye said newcomers should get involved in their community.
“Join a club, play pickleball, walk the downtown area and frequent the restaurants and shops, or start a podcast!”
256 Today is proud to present the Our Town Podcast. Check here every week for the latest episode from Troy Bye, Huntsville’s newest favorite son. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
This week’s episode features John Kvach, executive director of the Singing River Trail, a planned 200-plus-mile regional greenway that will connect North Alabama. Troy tells us, “I had to have John on to learn more about it and to really get to know the man I am going to affectionately refer to as the Trail Boss!”