A trailblazer is a pioneer who is considered a first in their area of expertise. As leaders, they point the way, take the risks, and change the world. They have a vision for a different future, a faith that turns their dreams into reality and a determination that cuts through barriers and obstacles. I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing Chrissy Brown, the chief operations officer at Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group.
Chrissy, tell us about your mortgage journey. How did you come into the industry?
Chrissy Brown: I graduated high school early, I felt like I had to get my life started. I made a very wild move at 18 years old and moved to Toronto Canada. I went to bible college and I realized that I wanted to go change the world. It was important to me to bring clean water to the villages, hold those babies, build orphanages and truly make a difference. I even went to Haiti in 1997 for a little bit, which was very, very difficult — no electricity, no water. I had to learn to live without.
I stayed there for a six-month period and then I returned to the United States. At that time, I had to make a big decision: was I going to stay in the U.S. or go back to the third world?
While I was trying to figure out my next steps, I needed a job, so I went to a temp agency and they placed me as a receptionist in a mortgage broker shop, a three-person shop. This was that pivotal moment that brought me into the mortgage industry.
The great thing about working at a small broker shop was that they taught me everything — how to process, send loans to lenders — I learned the entire process from start to finish. After six months I realized that I really enjoyed helping families.
It’s interesting that my father has been doing mortgages for 35 years. In fact, most of my neighborhood at that time were in mortgages. My neighbor across the street was Toby Harris, the owner of Movement Mortgage.
Once you started doing mortgages did you stop traveling overseas and volunteering?
CB: No. I still had a yearning to make a difference in the world, so I transitioned into at-risk youth care. I mentored about 13 young women from an outreach local neighborhood. I started to realize that I could still follow my passion and help bring families home in the United States.
I recognized my purpose and understand that we can all change the world. My journey has meant so many things to me over time. I remember one time taking kids from average U.S. neighborhoods over to Africa with me to help assist at some squatter camps and orphanages. It was really interesting to see that kind of experience, someone growing up under the poverty level into the squatter camps.
I remember my 30th birthday, I started questioning myself and my life. I almost felt guilty working in mortgages because I didn’t think I was making a big enough impact on the world. I was searching for more to tie in my passion. I used my vacation time to go to Africa a few times, but as time progressed I moved into leadership roles within the industry and that’s when it hit me! I am changing the world every single day by helping my team to bring families home.
As leaders we make an impact on others every single day. It is such an honor to serve and to mold others into their best selves by putting them into the right roles and providing them with the tools and training they need to be success. We all know that when we are happy at work it carries over to our personal lives and the ripple of impact continues through their families.