The South Tampa Chamber, a chamber of commerce representing business in the Tampa Bay, Fla. community, has recognized reverse mortgage industry professional Chris Bruser with its “Ambassador of the Year” award.
“We appreciate your dedication and commitment to the South Tampa Chamber Ambassador committee and the Chamber’s members,” the organization told Bruser via social media.
Bruser attended the organization’s annual meeting, and winning the award came as a surprise, he told RMD in an interview.
“Whenever new members join the chamber, an ambassador is assigned to that new member to help them make the most of their membership and get them acclimated,” Bruser said. “[Their ambassador] is there to be a warm person to get them settled in so they can maximize their chamber benefits.”
Bruser had no foreknowledge of the nomination, he explained.
“I was shocked as heck,” he said. “I went to the annual meeting, and I literally had no idea that I was going to get that award. So it was a complete shock, but a true honor and I was very humbled by it.”
An ambassador has the opportunity to volunteer to serve as a point of contact for a new member. In addition to the personal benefits, Bruser has found that serving in the Chamber can also serve an important business function for any reverse mortgage professional: expanding the proverbial Rolodex of referral partners, primarily including financial advisors that join the organization.
But the arrangement goes both ways: Bruser has also connected with people he wants to do business with, making for a positive and mutually beneficial arrangement.
“I’ve actually opened up a bank account with one of our members,” he said. “I went to a ribbon cutting at a new bank and just struck up a conversation. The manager found out that I did reverse mortgages, and he invited me to come and do a presentation for his wealth managers and his mortgage people for the bank.”
Bruser finds that his connection to the organization is a boon both personally and professionally, he explained.
“It’s just a really great community,” he said. “It allows me to give back to the community, but there’s also a business aspect to it as well, obviously.”