It’s no secret that it has been a season of transition for our team. We’ve spent the summer closing one company and launching a new one, saying goodbye to team members we respect deeply, and retooling and dreaming about what’s ahead for Apex Legacy Consultants.
Amidst all the details and planning documents and challenges, we’re incredibly grateful that at the core of our company is work that we wholeheartedly believe makes a difference in the world.
We believe that generosity matters and that every person—no matter the size of their estate or the particulars of their family—can make an incredible difference, and we’re honored to be able to help them do that.
Just like every donor has a story of why they’re making the significant decisions they are, each of our team members brings a unique perspective on generosity and what it means to leave a legacy. And we think our team is pretty great! So we’re also pausing our normally-scheduled blog posts to allow each team member to have a minute in the spotlight to celebrate their why. Today we’re sitting down with Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Christy Boysen;
If you were to describe your role to someone who doesn’t know Apex, or legacy planning, how would you describe it?
All the things! I wear two major “hats” at the company: one is to provide leadership, direction and vision; to hire well and support our team; and to create a culture of generosity and hard work. The other is walking individuals and families through intentional legacy planning, partnering with organizations to offer this service as a perk to their donors.
No two days are the same, and I love that! I get to use all the different parts of my brain, and I get to call on the really different experiences I’ve had in my professional and personal life, to lead our team and serve our donors well. I feel incredibly honored and grateful to be sitting in this seat.
What is your favorite part of your work?
When I’m wearing my CEO hat, I love creating a space for our team to continue exploring their interests and growing while also doing meaningful day-to-day work with the company. I love investing in people and leaders. We’re all on a journey. Whether Apex is just a page or a long chapter in someone’s story, I want to make this space a meaningful and significant one for them.
I also deeply love story. As a legacy consultant, I get to “sit at the table” and help families think through some of the most significant decisions of their lives. Getting to know the uniqueness of each family’s story, and then helping integrate that uniqueness into a legacy plan that fits who they are, what their family’s about, and how they want to be generous is one of the best parts of my job!
What was the first nonprofit you ever supported financially, and what was that experience like?
When I was younger and just starting to realize that there were organizations out there doing incredible good in the world, I wanted to invest in the lives of children living in impoverished places. I did my research—which was much harder to do when Google wasn’t around and we didn’t have the internet—and found organizations that fought childhood hunger both in the United States and abroad. In elementary and middle school, I’d give a 10% gift from my babysitting and, later, restaurant serving jobs. Giving consistently—even if it was a relatively small dollar amount—was a huge value that was instilled in me. Along with my donations, I’d occasionally send handwritten letters, because I wanted to make sure these kids felt loved and supported, even if only for a moment.
What does “legacy” mean to you?
I believe legacy is something that you’re creating every day of life, but that once you’re gone, is put into words by those you love. I recently lost a grandmother, and at her funeral, it was fascinating to hear the stories that were shared about her. Some of them were familiar to me, and some let me see a little piece of her that I never knew. Some things were funny, some tragic, some puzzling…but they all reflected bits and pieces of how she lived her life and the people she touched along the way.
So, legacy is a lot of things: someone’s values, certainly, their heart, the things that are deep and consistent about the way that person lived their life. But it’s also the little moments, the memories that are triggered for others, the stories that bring laughter. I hope that, every day, I’m doing things that someone will remember in a positive way when I’m gone, even if they never know my name!
Who has inspired you to be generous?
I grew up in a blue-collar family. We always had what we needed, but we didn’t have a ton of excess. That said, week after week, year after year, whether my parents had a lot of money or were in a lean spot, they gave a portion away. That was a non-negotiable. Through this display of consistent generosity, I learned the joy that comes with giving.
I also learned to think of generosity as giving of your time and talent. My parents instilled this in my sisters and my thoughts at a young age. They always said that each of us have been blessed with unique gifts and a way we can honor these abilities is to serve other people and organizations. It’s a privilege to be in a role where I get to use my gifts on a daily basis to serve others.
Do you have any favorite stories of generosity, either from your work at GPS or your personal life/connections?
A lot of the families I get to meet with at Apex talk about “living with open hands,” or not holding onto their possessions/lifestyle/location too tightly. It’s a lot easier to give something away when you recognize that it wasn’t yours to begin with. When we think about our lives, our “stuff,” and even our calling as tools we can use to better our communities and those around us, it becomes a lot less scary to let go of some of those things!
Where do you volunteer or give on a regular basis, and why?
I’m a part of a program called “COMMentor Mentorship Program” through Bethel University. For the last several years, now that I live close to my alma mater, I’ve intentionally invested time in up-and-coming Communication Studies graduates. My career began in higher education, and I have a passion for that age group, so taking time out of my schedule each month to invest in these young adults’ professional and personal development during such a formative season of life is a delight. Plus we do it over coffee or during a walk… which are two of my favorite things!
Co-Owner and CEO
Christy has a background in higher education, marketing, and event management. She brings oodles of business sense, leadership, and a winsome personality to the team. Christy’s professional degrees include a B.A. in Psychology, B.A. in Communication, and M.A. in Higher Education.