Troy Brown: Passionate About Helping Minorities Get Ahead

Troy Brown

By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter

“If I don’t make you feel like you’re the greatest person on earth when you come into those credit union doors then I’m not doing my job. My job is to build trust and make sure that people understand  that they have help. Hope and help that’s what we’re providing every single day.  When you marry those two, I believe you have success.”

Troy Brown is a Compliance Officer at Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union.

He started at the credit union in 2000 and left in 2002. Brown has returned to TUFCU in June 2023. “Life is a big circle. It’s funny how 24 years later I’m back but I’m here in a different capacity.”

“A compliance officer is the person that helps with policy adherence and policy making,” he said,” and we also provide some safeguards for our members when it comes to transactions. We oversee different financial transactions to make sure everything is compliant with the law and different regulations. We’re kind of like that third eye.”

Brown graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialty in international business and a minor in Spanish. He earned a master’s degree in business education and taught four years in the charter school system, two years at Toledo Christian where he taught middle school and high school math and Spanish.

After leaving the school system he started his own catering company, Upper Echelon School Food Services. “For nine years I fed the charter schools. We had a very successful catering company where we fed hot breakfast and hot lunches to multiple kids. We averaged 1300 units a day – both breakfast and lunch. So, I have extensive experience in entrepreneurship.”

Brown then worked at Amazon for a year and most recently worked as a former college recruiter for TRIO for a year and half at Owens Community College. He is now pursuing his doctorate in Leadership Studies at Bowling Green State University.

Brown is a Toledo native who grew up witnessing entrepreneurship in his family. His grandfather, George Brown owned two bars, Zanzibar and The Yankee Inn – one downtown and one in the inner city in the 60s– and his father Rev. Gregory Brown turned the bar on Detroit and Oakwood into an ice cream shop, Brown’s Tasty Cream, in the 1980s. “At six years old I’m witnessing entrepreneurship of my father and saying to myself I want to own my own business too. That’s how I got into business.”

“I’m passionate about helping minorities start businesses in the inner city. That’s why I’m here.”

It was the pandemic that showed him the desperate needs that many have in our communities. He took his catering company to the children and fed them in apartment complexes when the schools closed. “Children depended upon those lunches and hot breakfast trays…access to capital and food [is a big problem].” There was a drive by-shooting in which a 19-year-old was killed one during one of his deliveries. “It woke this Black man up… with tears in my eyes I asked God what else can I do?…He’s prepared me to be back here [at the credit union].  It’s not about me. It’s about God and how we can be a light.”

“Dr. Suzette [Cowell] has the vision, and the bible says, ‘write the vision and make it plain that they may run with it’ . Who are the ‘they’? It’s all of us that work here…the tellers, the board members… God gave Dr. Suzette the vison and we’re running with it… this didn’t just happen overnight. I thank God that we have leadership of Dr. Suzette with the vision from God to build Toledo.”

“It’s not about us,” remarked Brown, “it’s about the next generation.”

To learn more about the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union visit their location on 1441 Dorr St. or their new second location on Monroe St. (former Fifth/Third at Swayne Field).

TUFCU offers checking, savings, mortgages, credit cards and loans, among other services, as well as a new down payment assistance program for first time home buyers and a low interest loan for home repair contractors.

Visit or call 419-255-8876 for more information.