Downing-Frye team Brenda and Rick Brown have found second careers in real estate after moving to Southwest Florida in 2009. They quickly realized that retirement and playing golf every day just wasn’t their style.
Brenda was a former executive for State Farm Insurance for 23 years and Rick was a trial attorney for 30 years. His litigation skills and her sales skills have proven to be a formula for success at Downing-Frye.
But their real passion is volunteer work.“I volunteer because I have my faith,” explains Brenda. “I’m so grateful for it. One of the tenets of faith is ‘loving your neighbor as yourself,’ by giving of your time, talent and treasure.”
Brenda gives her time to many, many causes. She and Rick are members of the Estero United Methodist Church, a top priority for them. Both are prayer warriors, in fact. The church partnered with Meals of Hope recently and put together 72,000 meals for Haiti and the local Harry Chapin Food Bank.
She was the Honorary Chair for Make A Wish’s “Wishmakers Ball” at Quail West, which was sponsored by Downing-Frye. The event raised $150,000 for Make a Wish, an organization focused on helping children with life-threatening illnesses.
“What I love about Make A Wish is that they grant a wish to the child AND the family. The wish gives the child and siblings something to look forward to, takes their minds off of the illness and gives them something to remember. It gives them some joy in the midst of their medical crisis.”
But that’s not all that occupies Brenda’s time. A college music major who plays concert saxophone, several woodwinds and hand bells, she says that “music is a piece of my heart.” She is a member of the Southwest Florida Symphony. In April she will be hosting “High Tea with the Queen Bees” in her home to raise funds for the symphony, which awards scholarships to worthy students.
And there’s more. She sponsors children in S. Africa through the Spiering Foundation. She is proud that one of those children now attends college. She has also “adopted” several other local causes: the Cancer Alliance of Naples, New Horizons kids club and the Pregnancy Resource Center of Naples. Additionally, Rick volunteers his time with SALUS, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Ft. Myers.
In their “spare” time the Browns hosted a seminar for couples, “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage,” started Bible study groups at Quail West and serve communion at their beloved church. And as prayer warriors they are on a hospice visitation team.
“I believe that everyone has time, talent and treasure,” says Brenda. “When you give back, it is so incredibly rewarding. I feel so humbled.”
To listen to Brenda Brown talk about her career and volunteer work here in Southwest Florida follow this link: