An Entrepreneur at Heart
“My parents’ words come full circle here reminding me that, while not everyone is going to like me, genuine, authentic relationships will be created if I focus my energy on those who do like me for who I am.” – Chantal Aybar
When she was growing up in the Dominican Republic, Chantal Aybar started a lemonade stand and then began designing and crafting jewelry. Today, as a commercial banker for BB&T, she looks back at how her parents encouraged her entrepreneurial spirit and instilled in her a desire to strive for success while showing kindness and compassion toward others.
“My father is the ambitious go-getter with a warm and fuzzy heart, and my mom is the emotionally intelligent, supportive parent with the less-affectionate exterior,” she said. Her father encouraged her to shoot for the stars, and she was accepted at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. During those formative college years, she transitioned from a Latin culture to an American one. “I am both Dominican and American, and I am proud to not fit into one generic box,” she says.
When Aybar was starting her childhood businesses, her grandfather taught her a lesson that led her into appreciation for the banking industry. He said, “The only money you have is the one you don’t spend.”
Today she jokingly says she shakes hands for a living. “A good portion of my time is spent meeting new people and connecting with both clients and prospects,” she says. “I enjoy hearing people’s stories and how they got to where they are, and it is fascinating to encounter so many diverse backgrounds in the Central Florida community.”
After graduating from BB&T’s Leadership Development Program in 2015, Aybar moved to Orlando for a position she was offered. She chose to stay because she fell in love with the community and made great friends. Then she joined the Leadership Orlando program, which helped her learn more about the seven-county region while forming these connections and friendships. “Central Florida has given me incredible coworkers, an amazing tennis community, a foodie family and a young professional circle of trust.”