When Trixy Castro, Aureus Finance Group Founder & CEO, embarked on her entrepreneurial journey over fifteen years ago, she had no idea that the young women she recruited to put in the sweat equity necessary to build something truly unique would be the same individuals that remain by her side as the chief officers of her current venture. “A true team dynamic is one where all members are invested in each other’s mutual successes,” explains Castro. “Our current leadership team at Aureus is indicative of what is achievable when professional and personal goals are aligned across the board.”
Originate Report had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with Castro to learn more about how her extensive experience and notable successes in a traditionally male-dominated industry provided her with the insight and inspiration to recruit and nurture a female talent base that is now producing excellent results at Aureus. Castro and the Aureus team are seasoned professionals that have watched the consistent upward trajectory of the corporation over the last two decades.
Building Things from the Ground Up
Although Castro is the CEO of a dynamic firm currently revolutionizing the finance world, she is in no way “new” to this industry. Being a minority woman in this space has presented a myriad of challenges—some expected, others not—which Castro has expertly navigated thanks to her natural business acumen, ability to think outside the box, and constant support from her hand-picked team of dynamic female professionals. As a seasoned entrepreneur, corporate executive and fund manager, Castro has founded and sold multiple companies and is a recognized innovator in the United States real estate and mortgage finance industries. Castro’s unique ability to combine transactional savviness with intuitive risk management strategies sets her apart in the ultra-competitive finance profession.
Castro founded Genesis Capital, LLC, one of the nation’s largest providers of private money loans, leveraging her expertise at deal structuring and client development to create a powerhouse private bank from the ground up. Castro instilled a borrower-centric approach focusing on proactively collaborating with her clients to offer best-in-class loan programs that ultimately expanded the company’s footprint nationwide. She then led the sale of the company to Goldman Sachs in January 2018. Under her leadership, Genesis Capital became an industry leader originating over $2 billion in loans annually with virtually no defaults. Capitalizing on her ability for predicting real estate trends, Castro identified an underserved niche for real estate professionals needing access to assets and financing for property acquisitions. This led her to found Genesis Auctions in 2011, creating the first technology driven real estate disposition platform for investor buyers, giving them access to purchase distressed properties and providing buyers the capital to do so.
Attributing Success to the Team Dynamic
Whenever asked about her success or what she has built, Castro always starts with praise and credit to her team. She does not feel that these successes are hers but truly those of the team and the women that have been by her side all these years, and the team they have currently recruited for Aureus. “Aureus isn’t just simply made up of ‘women within the finance world’” notes Castro. “Our company is comprised of true female leaders that have sacrificed and worked every single day to make a difference. These women are mothers, scholars, fighters, heroes and—most importantly—supporters of each other and all women. They stand out as a company, not only for their strong female team, but as a true organization of partners, colleagues, friends, and family that are representative of a diverse range of cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds united in seeing each other succeed.”
Castro recalls when her first two employees came on board during the creation of her first major venture, Genesis Capital over 15 years ago. Her current Chief Business Development Officer, Brittney Fairweather was seeking just a part-time job along with now Chief Compliance Officer, Brittany Starkey. These women helped push and build what would one day become a key leading entity in the finance industry. These core group of women went on to recruit more amazing female talent and building a team that had inclusiveness at its core. Now, with Aureus as the crown jewel in a long legacy of companies that Castro has successfully established, having a strong female team is a unique element that empowers its employees to reach their full potential—as Michelle Czarnota, Construction Management Analyst at Aureus explains: “With over ten years of experience in this business, I have yet to come across a company with women leading in every sector, it is refreshing to see accomplished women in a male dominated industry. My role in construction management is ever evolving, consistently presenting new opportunities to learn and grow in the business. Being a part of a groundbreaking company such as Aureus is a privilege as we revolutionize the real estate industry.”
Castro truly believes that the interwoven finance and real estate sectors are the perfect place for young female professionals to explore their talents and be a part of shaping the future of these rapidly evolving industries. “I would encourage women from all backgrounds to not underestimate their potential for success in the finance world,” said Castro. “My passion is seeking out talents from all backgrounds and using my experience to nurture and encourage them to be innovative trendsetters.”
That positive energy is inspiring females to chase down their dreams as part of the uniquely progressive group at Aureus. Just ask Loan Operations Manager, Jolene Czarnota, who has been involved in real estate in one way shape or form for 15 years ranging from small independent local builders, distressed real estate disposition, conventional lending, to private money lending who described her motivation to join the firm: “I joined Aureus Finance Group to be part of building an exceptional company culture that embraces diversity, teamwork, effective communication, and open feedback. A place where employees have a clear sense of purpose, and everyone is striving to meet the same objectives. When you hear about Aureus and our team you want to be part of our success not just for the financial gains but because you will love walking into the office each day and being part of this amazing team.”
A Bright Future
Aureus Finance Group is certainly making waves in the finance and real estate fields—and is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. With a forward-thinking and talented CEO at the helm of a diversely talented team, it will be exciting to see what the future has in store for Aureus.