CFO found constant support and enjoyment while attending PBSC
Kristy Brown lives by three great mantras: try everything, be your most authentic self and make a difference. Today, she is doing exactly that – making a difference in young lives as the chief financial officer for the Olivet Boys & Girls Club in Reading, Pa.
Brown had originally enrolled at Palm Beach Atlantic University but was drawn to then Palm Beach Community College. After two years, she absolutely enjoyed her time and wasn’t ready to leave, extending her schooling for another year.
“The faculty and staff were just great and truly contributed to my wonderful experience. I took a math class that was beyond my level. But my professor was incredibly helpful, and I was able to get through and do well.”
After earning an Associate in Arts degree in music in 1999, Brown transferred to Florida Atlantic University to pursue a degree in music business. Sadly, during her last semester at PBCC, her father passed away, causing her to miss her finals. Brown’s music professor, Allen Webber, contacted her instructors, explaining the situation. Brown recalls, “My experience was like that all the time – constant, dedicated support through everything – and Allen and I are still in contact today.”
In her personal and professional life, Brown keeps a healthy, positive mindset, always striving to be a difference maker in all that she does. “I would never turn down experiences, and I encourage my children, and myself, because you never know what joy you’ll find in a new experience.”
Finding inspiration and making a difference started when Brown was young, taking roles and working for organizations that have an impact in her community. In her early career, she found herself in the music field, bridging the gap between artist and administrator, eventually transitioning from the music business to finance.
“My position is not just finance related; addressing real life is inherent in what I and we all do: providing comfort reassurance, ensuring safety and working toward the greater good. I may be in a leadership role, but I still view myself as simply providing a service to the kids in our organization. The better I do at my job, the better off these kids will be.”
Brown admits to struggling with not being perfect though is more intent on learning and growing in all areas of life. She also recognizes a pet peeve. “We often make our kids decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives before they even know themselves.”
PBCC provided not only lifelong learning but also lifelong happiness for Brown while enrolled in the music program. Her flute teacher, Allison DeMarco, brought in a guest speaker, who would later become Brown’s husband, the two of them now celebrating 23 years of marriage. It’s a fitting touch of fate for Brown who still says, “Try everything; you may find something with which you fall in love.”
In recognition of Palm Beach State College’s 90th anniversary, the weekly Alumni Spotlight Series showcases the College’s role in preparing generations of graduates to achieve success in myriad careers and give back to their local communities.