29, Wealth Consultant & Junior Partner at First Genesis of Virginia, Norfolk
Business community involvement:
Friends of Portsmouth Juvenile Court Board, Old Dominion University Insurance Center Advisory Board, Society of Financial Service Professionals, Hampton Roads Black Young Professionals, Urban League of Hampton Roads Young Professionals
Literacy tutor for the Life Enrichment Center, provide scholarships and conduct seminars for the Hampton University School of Pharmacy, board member and development committee chair with the Friends of Portsmouth Juvenile Court
Something that sets you apart from the crowd?
What sets me apart is my why. I have made it my moral obligation to increase financial literacy in the African-American community. Statistics regarding the racial wealth gap have served as a constant motivation for me to be a social engineer to work on behalf of African-American professionals.
Something or someone who keeps you motivated?
We are truly doing amazing things at First Genesis of Virginia, and as a black-owned family business I have so much pride in what that means for my community. I have been blessed to have a brilliant business partner and an amazing mentor that I also get to call Dad! What motivates me is my desire to not only continue his legacy but to take what we are doing to the next level to impact the citizens of Hampton Roads and beyond.
Tell us about a recent accomplishment that you’re proud of.
This year I made the decision to hold myself accountable regarding exercising self-care. From attending workshops and going to the gym regularly I have made a conscious effort to make sure I am incorporating practices to maximize my personal and professional life. There is no greater feeling than having clarity, declaring your goals and applying strategies daily to put yourself in a position to succeed.
What’s a challenge you’ve had to overcome to find success?
At 22 years old I was finding that my lack of experience made it difficult for me to connect with the established professionals I wanted to work with. To address this challenge, I shifted my focus to working with young professionals in my network. I assist them in establishing a solid financial foundation and addressing their concerns by providing a holistic approach to accomplishing their financial goals.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current position?
I would work in a capacity that would allow me to advocate for equity and equality to affect change for those who are underserved. I am committed to making a difference in people’s lives, and I believe that the best way to accomplish this is through progressive policy. A quote from Angela Davis that I always keep in mind is, “I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change ... I’m changing the things I cannot accept.”
What new idea or development are you most excited about in Coastal Virginia right now?
I am most excited about events in Hampton Roads that are connecting us as a region while creating opportunities across multiple markets. I had the pleasure of attending Something in the Water put on by Pharrell. I am still processing the performances, dynamic speakers and activities, but the only word that comes to mind is epic! I was inspired by how Pharrell used his platform and influence to create an event that highlighted the amazing things that our region has to offer.
What do you think is Coastal Virginia’s biggest challenge?
I have several friends who grew up and went to college in Hampton Roads, but due to a lack of diversity in jobs, competitive pay and events targeting millennials, they moved to other metropolitan areas. From my perspective, in order to retain talent, Coastal Virginia has to make a shift to become a desirable place for Fortune 500 companies and industry leading professionals to call home. There is progress being made in cities like Norfolk, which hosts festivities year-round and offers a variety of options of food, art and entertainment for the younger population.
Where is your favorite place in Coastal Virginia to go on the weekends?
I’m a foodie, so I am always venturing out to local restaurants to treat myself to a great meal and cocktail after a long week of #Adulting! So, whether I’m hanging out with girlfriends at Culture Lounge in the Neon District, enjoying a craft cocktail at Crudo Nudo in Ghent or having an amazing dinner downtown at Saltine, you can catch me eating my way through #NFK!
From her nomination:
“Her actions come from a place of compassion and understanding, which allows Ms. Royster to touch many demographics—elderly, millennials and youth—through her career and her personal passions.”
—Alicia Jones, colleague