As a Publicist, every now and then I have the honor to find and represent a rare and treasured talent, anointed from on high, and one that deeply enriches the lives around them.
Recording singer/songwriter, author, and financial guru Deborah Hightower, is making a giant grand opening splash onto the scene this year as one of the world’s newest trendsetters. Check out http://www.deborahhightower.com
Having already written, sung, and produced two cds in previous years, along with several video and television appearances, Deborah’s current schedule and string of successes is nothing less than an enigma with, amongst many other upcoming projects, an appearance and song creation in the upcoming film ‘A Cry for Justice’, written publications for Wall Street Journal and other noteworthy informational sources, a new music video release called “Wayz 2 Praize” which was open for fan auditions to appear in this fun and catchy new musical piece, and more … Check out more from Deborah below for her upcoming year of ear and eye fetching accomplishements and one who leads by example!
Deborah Hightower – Thought Leader in Personal and Professional Expansion
Deborah Hightower is blazing the trail as an example in her quest to teach others about the concept of personal and professional expansion that has become a natural part of her everyday life. A veteran financial services professional, sought after speaker, accomplished singer, song writer, and author, Hightower is a high tower of energy that doesn’t slow down, yet she is able to maintain a distinct balance in her professional and personal life. As a Vice President of Investments for a national financial services firm, she has also obtained the designations of Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor ℠ (CRPC®), Accredited Asset Management Specialist℠ (AAMS®) and Registered Financial Gerontologist℠ (RFG®). When not guiding her clients through the myriad of challenges in investment and distribution strategies, she focuses her attention on speaking at corporate and non-profit organizational events as well as expanding her music career where four of her songs reached the top ten on the inspirational charts.
Hightower’s passion to teach people how to experience expansion in their personal and professional lives was birthed from her own experiences as she has evolved to be accomplished in a diverse number of areas in her own life. She actually began her career in financial services at the age of nineteen by beginning at the bottom of the organizational ladder as a data entry clerk. She states, “The person that hired me evidently saw something in me that I didn’t know existed at the time. He gave me a chance because he must have seen some raw, untapped talent within me that he felt would benefit the company.” That’s where Hightower’s lifetime of expansion experiences began. She found herself to be a quick study, continuously looking for ways to improve herself and expand personally and professionally. The end result in her financial services career has been to achieve her current position of Vice President of Investments, a position obtained by few women in the financial services industry. She currently works with clients in multiple states helping them navigate through the accumulation and distribution phases of their financial plan. She also helps clients create philanthropic strategies to enable them to give back to their loved ones, their community, or another special interest in the most efficient way possible.
Hightower says, “I attribute my success to perseverance. If you are doing something you believe in, keep doing it, but always evaluate along the way, just like a financial plan. You may have a plan, but that plan changes with every change in your life. Flexibility and willingness to embrace opportunities as they arise are the important keys. I think that has helped propel me to where I am today. You have to focus, but then that focus has to be flexible. You have to maintain a flexible focus in business and in life.”
Hightower began her financial services career after completing only two college courses. It was after she began her career in the financial services industry that she went back to college and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business with a minor in Communications from Mercer University and then went on to obtain a Master’s Degree in Organization and Management from Capella University. Currently, she is well on her way to completing a PhD in Leadership. This is just another example of her dedication and commitment to continuous expansion.
Hightower is continuously invited by various organizations to speak on a variety of topics. As a thought leader in the area of “Expansion,” she helps individuals find and develop a plan to pursue their passion and assists companies and organizations with expansion in the areas of employee work/life balance, client development, and team motivation. A proponent of living life to its fullest, she encourages others to be motivated, uplifted and renewed by broadening their horizons, engaging their passions, and seeking genuine expansion in all areas of their life. She states, “I encourage people to think outside the box. I speak to companies and organizations that want to do something a little different in the area of expansion and I work with companies that recognize the need to expand their employee and client demographic. My client base is very diverse and I believe other professionals can find success by expanding their business demographic to include those outside the ‘norm’. Deep down, most people want the same things, not only the basics of safety, food, and shelter, but also love, success and a purpose for being on the planet. I feel it a privilege to be in a position to encourage and influence others. Perhaps it is time for us to evaluate our business practices.” She continues, “Companies host diversity training and sensitivity training, but I’m not convinced it’s effective. I think most employees dread the process and just want to get it over without really embracing what it means. I practice the concept of diversity and expansion on a daily basis. It has never been just a corporate educational module for me, it is something I have integrated into my lifestyle. I love to talk about the subject and believe if we can see our similarities, rather than our differences, we will be better in every aspect of our lives. My life experiences allow me to offer real life examples to my audience and drive home the point in a poignant way.” While the concepts of expansion, diversity, happiness, relationships, and work-life balance are core subjects Hightower addresses, she is also able to speak on a variety of other topics pertinent to organizations, families and women.
Not only has Hightower experienced tremendous expansion in her career as a financial services professional and as a public speaker, she also has fully embraced her musical talent and began singing professionally in recent years. She has had a love for music since childhood and has sung at her share of parties, weddings, and funerals over the years. But, something moved her to expand her singing capacity to become a professional recording artist. With the same tenacity that has created great success for her in the financial services world, Hightower set her sights on becoming successful as an Inspirational Recording Artist. And that she did. Now with two albums recorded, her third album is set to be released in October to be followed by a Christmas album to be released in November. Her music has taken her places she would not have otherwise experienced. People all over the world have purchased her music. She says, “My expansion into music has afforded me the opportunity to be in the company of a beautiful tapestry of people, from the homeless to world leaders. Music has given me a platform to bring people together whose paths would likely not have otherwise crossed. It allows me to bridge gaps in communities, support social causes and encourage others to launch their own expansion project.” She goes on to say, “The power of expansion is incredible. I firmly believe that life can be more fulfilling and happy when we expand ourselves and expand outside ourselves for the good of others. When we move past the boundaries we’ve set in our lives, when we allow ourselves to embrace our passions, amazing things can happen.”
Hightower laughingly says, “I am a financial consultant by day and musician, speaker and everything else by night.” Her first CD debut concert was held at the Grand Opera House in Macon, Georgia and included a one-hundred member community choir and a twelve piece band complete with a horn section as well as multicultural performances by local organizations. Her second CD was recorded in Nashville and the release party was attended by fans, industry executives and media representatives. That album produced four top ten hits and was also runner up for Album of the Month in a leading industry publication, being edged out by Ricky Skaggs for the top spot. Hightower also was nominated for ICM Female Vocalist of the Year in 2008 and New Artist of the Year in 2007 and 2008. She also presented the Song of the Year Award at the ICM’s Gala Awards Ceremony in Nashville, which honors the biggest names and emerging talent among inspirational country music artists. She has performed at a variety of venues from small gatherings to mega-churches to Carnegie Hall. In 2006 she sang as part of the Christmas celebration at the White House.
Hightower has also taken her talents to the big screen. While not in a lead role, she did serve as an “extra” in the upcoming movie, A Cry for Justice, a production of Triple Horse Studios which will be released in theaters later this year. One of her songs will also be used in the movie. Currently, she is filming a music video for the first single from her upcoming album. In whatever she does, she has an internal drive for excellence. She states, “I’m not a perfectionist, but I am driven by excellence and always strive to do my best.”
Amidst all the business, there is a fun side to Hightower. She always jokes that she’s 29 (and won’t say how many times she’s been 29) and goes on endlessly about fashion. She has a tailor friend with whom she dreams up designs for suits and cocktail attire. Her shoes and hair color often create a buzz. One never knows how high her heels are going to be or what shade of brunette, red or blond she’ll be wearing. She’s definitely a girl’s girl, yet operates fearlessly in the man’s world of finance.
Hightower has a big smile and is naturally jovial. She is comfortable in her own skin and people are drawn to her ability to make them feel comfortable as well. When asked about another success key, she answers with one word, “rapport.” She goes on to say, “Building a comfortable rapport with people comes with the responsibility of treating others with respect and expressing authentic concern. No faux here. I believe we have a moral obligation to do the right thing and encourage others at every opportunity. Authenticity is a key component in my everyday life and I practice it continuously in my relationships with people.”
Hightower’s message for others can be summed up with a few words: expand, stretch, find your passion, be courageous. She states, “The doors that have opened for me have been incredible, and the same thing can happen for anyone else who thinks outside the rut. I want to teach others the concept of expansion and how they can also become more successful in their current work or by expanding in other directions. This vicious cycle of go to work and go home, go to work and go home, day after day, is killing people emotionally. I believe when people are happy and fulfilled, they are better in each of their life roles, as employees, employers, friends, husbands, wives, parents, and the list goes on. There must be a willingness to break out of the rut, pursue your passion and live life fully. It doesn’t seem like work when you’re doing something you love. I want to help people expand their horizons way beyond their self-imposed limitations.”
In addition to her speaking schedule, Hightower will be releasing two CD’s in October and November of this year. She has been a featured guest on over one-hundred radio and television programs and has been the featured speaker at numerous conferences. She will also be a contributing author to Brian Tracy’s upcoming book, The Secret to Winning Big, scheduled to be published in December. She is a contributing writer in Power Source Magazine, focusing on how to handle real life issues facing every person and how to overcome the daily challenges people encounter. She is also a contributing blogger for glassheel.com, a lifestyle and networking site for professional women. Because of her outstanding success and significant contributions as a financial services expert, public speaker, singer, song writer, and author, Hightower is being featured as one of America’s PremierExperts® Trendsetters in INC Magazine. Additional information about Hightower can be found at http://www.deborahhightower.com.
Deborah Hightower is represented by Safire Productions Publicist and Author of this article, ReAnn Ring. https://www.facebook.com/ThePublicistReAnnRing