There are a lot of ways you can celebrate Black History Month. As part of our celebrations, and in the spirit of our commitment to financial success for all St. Louisans, Prosperity Connection is excited to share the work of local, Black professionals in the finance industry.
We recognize that it is essential to highlight the voices, experiences, and accomplishments of Black individuals every day. However, we also acknowledge the need to seize the opportunity to specifically celebrate and elevate the often-ignored accomplishments of Black Americans.
To that end, we’ll feature an interview with a different individual each week. This week’s financial professional is Crystal Avery-Morris, whom you may recognize from some of our home buying classes!
Crystal has 20 years of experience as a mortgage banking officer, concentrating in Community Development and low-to-moderate income/majority-minority lending. She is currently serving as the Community Development Officer at Commerce Bank. Learn more about Crystal and her top financial tip below:
Prosperity Connection: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and why you chose to work in finance?
Crystal Avery-Morris: I am a native Memphian and moved to St. Louis in 2009. My father owned real estate, so I was introduced into property management at an early age. My youth pastors were also mortgage brokers and I worked with them.
PC: How did you end up “here”/where you are now?
CAM: As I mentioned, I worked with my youth pastors but I did not realize mortgage lending was a “job” until I saw a paycheck. I was hooked after that. I moved on to open my own mortgage company in Memphis, TN but closed in late 2008 as the industry crashed. I moved to St. Louis to align with other community/economic development professionals that would allow me to continue to serve my clientele.
PC: What do you like most about being in your role?
CAM: Helping others access the information they need to make the best decision for their financial future and being able to dedicate my energy to the betterment of the community.
PC: What would you consider your greatest achievement in your financial career so far?
CAM: Hiring and training other millennial, minority individuals to do this work.
PC: What is your top, simple financial tip?
CAM: Save your money and educate yourself about any investment you want to make BEFORE you invest.
Thank you Crystal for sharing your story with us! Follow this link to register for her next homebuyer class on February 16th.