When she was a teen, Aprilyn Chavez Geissler had a dream that was quite different from that of your average high school student.
“I knew from the time I was in high school that I wanted to be in the insurance and financial services industry,” Geissler said. “So having the opportunity to live my dream of being able to help others achieve their dreams is what drives me each day.”
Geissler is first executive vice president at Gateway Insurance and Financial Services in Albuquerque, N.M., and has owned and operated her own firm for nearly 17 years. She is the recipient of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors 2019 Diversity Champion Award.
But the road to achieving her dream was littered with boulders.
After she fled an abusive relationship, Geissler’s deeply religious parents disowned her. Other members of the family, trying desperately to avoid conflict with Geissler’s parents, chose not to get involved, leaving a 19-year-old Geissler to live in her car.
“I lived in my car and went to school for about three months,” Geissler said. “It was my life. It was not a big deal to me.”
In fact, the difficult situation only seemed to bring out Geissler’s creativity and perseverance.