For the past 19 years, I have resided in Southern California – San Diego to be exact. When I tell a new acquaintance I relocated to Michigan from San Diego, the inevitable question I hear is “why.” Other comments follow but I’d rather not repeat them. My answer is two fold – to be closer to my family who resides in Hillsdale County and for the job opportunity here at Center for Financial Health.
Early on in my career, I realized my passion for helping people. Working in the San Diego Real Estate market – at the height of the market – helped me to further my passion and find a niche in real estate – Affordable Housing. Through my efforts of working with new home builders and City housing departments to provide affordable “for-sale” homes to first time home buyers, I began to volunteer with local non-profit housing counseling agencies. Later on in my career, I took a position with a preeminent non-profit agency in San Diego as the Assistant Vice President of Lending. During this transition, the housing market started to decline and our focus shifted -- we saw a greater need to help people stay in their homes and prevent foreclosure.
Earlier this year, I attended a national training conference in Phoenix, Arizona. During the conference, I made a few new friends who reside here in Michigan and we began to talk about the job opportunities available in the non-profit industry and the possibility of me relocating to Michigan to take a position. From that point on, it was all about networking and selling my passion, knowledge, experience and job skills to the right organization.
Consequently, I found the right fit. As the Executive Director for Center for Financial Health I am responsible for the overall operations of the organization including locating funding for our efforts in our community as a non-profit. As a housing counseling agency, we help preserve home ownership by providing counseling and resources to people who may be facing foreclosure. Simultaneously, we encourage neighborhood revitalization through our first time home buyer and financial literacy education combined with one-on-one counseling. Although the position is sometimes exhausting, I can honestly say I love my job. I am part of a team who is passionate about our mission to help individuals and families build assets through homeownership. We make a difference in our community, in peoples lives every day. There is nothing else I would rather be doing at this point in my life.
Follow me on Twitter @denisedkeiser