NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council brings you the story of NDILC member, Kellie Aamodt. With our Story Tree, we want to showcase the ups, downs, and in-betweens of our team’s careers and lives. Help us grow our tree by sending in your own leadership stories!
DeAnn Golden’s Journey Bio:
While I am still not sure what a “journey bio” to capture my ½ century of “journeys, “ I am going to “date” myself here. When Desiree requested a “Journey Bio” I thought maybe she was asking about my 1980’s fanclub membership in one of the most popular American rock bands of all times: Journey! The first LB album I owned was theirs! Granted, I was 3 when they formed!
So, I had to laugh when I realized that what Desiree wanted with a “journey bio” was some REAL words about the women in REAL estate on this panel that maybe our REAL friends from 3rd grade would share if introducing us.
Then, I realized I could probably give you my life journey with some of the most popular hits from the band Journey.
Song #1 – Growing up
“Don’t Stop Believin” – I am a “small town girl” from Athens, GA (not Detroit). My parents (and greatest role models) always just said don’t stop believing in your dreams, work hard, and don’t let anyone steal your zeal for life.
When people tell you that you can’t do something, don’t stop believing. You can and just think to yourself, “just watch me”.
“We are all searching” so don’t let anyone stifle your journey. It will lead you to places — places and moments you never thought possible.
I went to Tulane in New Orleans as a collegiate swimmer. That was something I never would have believed I would have experienced if I hadn’t really lived it! Who knew, when a swim coach saw me splish-splashing in the neighborhood pool at 4 years old, that it would be my thing! Keep in mind this was all Pre Janet Evans and Michael Phelps “cool swim factor”, and the guys in high school made fun of me because I wasn’t allowed to shave my legs during the training season up until Nationals or Trials. Now picture that at Prom! Not pretty!
Fortunately, my Tulane degree led me down a path as a pharmaceutical rep with Merck in Mobile Alabama. Then I opted to pursue commercial real estate after earning an MBA from UGA and later segued over to residential real estate. I am in my 25th year as a REALTOR® and earned a broker’s license in 2000. Wow, crazy to believe how time flies!
And I will never stop believing and knowing that I truly have landed in the most awesome career, guiding people home and to their next best move, building generational wealth and priceless moments in their lives in the place we call home. That coveted place that is most people’s most valuable asset. That within the past 6 months has become the place we were called upon to shelter in place to do our part to socially distanced and curb COVID.
Journey Song #2 –
Open Arms – Heartbeats are priceless. Cherish the people who share their heartbeats and laughter with you. Open your arms wide and give them your all. For when “living without you, living alone…the empty house seems so cold”. The love of my life, Tony Golden, epitomized health and life and a love for everything and everyone. His health endured setbacks starting in 2005 due to diabetes, and after ongoing setback after setback, he endured a stroke and heart attack in 2015 when our children were 21, 16, 6, and 3. He ultimately passed in 2017 after 2 years of intense medical challenges physically, emotionally, financially, which was more than I ever dreamed we could face as a family.
When everything seems lost, surround yourself with people that matter. Search for people that love to live, love and laugh. Live out loud for those you may have lost to carry on their legacy. Lean in hard to your faith, your values and yes, don’t stop believing in tomorrow.
I’m blessed to have had Anita Grogan appear back in my family’s life after losing my husband, asking how she could help. I said move in. She did and because of her and my career, I am blessed to rise every day to be able to serve others. I do my best to support my family, provide for them, and give my all to all the others I am blessed to help in a day, a week, a life...
We call Anita “Nini” (that’s the nickname the kids came up with when they couldn’t say Anita) or “SP-Nini” because for us she is that “spouse like support” that has taken just what a “nanny” might be to a whole new level. For that, we are forever grateful with open arms.
I do not think in my ½ century of life, I’ve ever had anyone but Desiree ask me to jot down my real journey — the one that no one would find when we google any of us. NAWRB has challenged me, opened my eyes, and given me a whole new perspective on what it means to be a delegate and why I am fulfilled being a member.
Who knew that a band could embody my journey when words are sometimes at a loss because of Desiree’s assignment!
I still have no idea if this is what Desiree wanted but maybe there is a Golden Nugget or two in the above that no one knew about me! If nothing else, I wasn’t allowed to shave my legs for years as an adolescent; Growing up with green chlorinated hair and broad shoulders, everyone was always trying to understand what made me rise at 4:30 am to swim for hours a day. Yep, I was definitely “that kid” and now I realize that being “that person” and being YOU is a great way to live.