As any visitor to Hightower Wealth Advisors knows, Darrell is all about the details. Conversations with Darrell can be wide-ranging and always informative, and digging in a bit, one realizes this is because how deeply Darrell feels everything. The lessons he learned as a child and the experiences he had with his parents and grandparents are woven tightly into how he thinks and how he views the world—and Darrell is definitely a thinker.
Darrell read voraciously as a child and still loves books. He loves words and treasures the foot-tall, stuck together with duct tape Merriam-Webster dictionary he inherited from his grandmother—the book that the grandchildren were sent to over and over when questioning the meaning of something they heard or read. That love of words influenced his career path—originally, he intended to be a Ninja. He prepared for this by reading every book and watching every Ninja movie over and over. When openings seemed slim, he followed his second choice to Kansas State’s architecture program.
Darrell’s interest in architecture stemmed from his interest in watching people interact with space, with walls, with each other; how design could influence interaction. He was driven by the thought behind the building process. Unfortunately, upon arrival at college, the wait-list spot he’d secured in the architecture program did not materialize. As he contemplated next steps, Mrs. Ramer, one of his teachers from high school, floated through his head: “Darrell, not all architects build buildings.”
And Darrell returned to his love of words, securing a degree in education with a major in English and minor Latin.
After college, Darrell worked for several firms selling media to universities and then ended up in financial services—first as an insurance agent and then as a planner. As an agent his income was 100% commission based and it was ultimately so exhausting that Darrell decided to move on—at which point, the team he worked with pointed out his attention to detail, his love of words, and his skill at pulling it all together…and Darrell accepted a role leading the service team and has not looked back.
The lessons and memories Darrell brings from childhood are that love of words and an affinity for two widely different music genres: the grand high opera his grandfather loved (Maria Callas), and the traditional country music his dad loved (Johnny Cash). His retirement dreams are to tour the great libraries of the world; he’s made a start at the John Ryland Library in Manchester, and appreciates both the story and the space. He also wants to tour the great churches and religious sites across the world—for the sense of feeling, the deep quiet that draws people to these spots. He wants to not only see a space, but feel a space; he recalls one of his best vacations, while still traveling for work, when his husband joined him in Montana and they drove through parts of the country unlike anything they’d ever seen. They drove through the Blackfoot Indian Reservation at a time when the Department of the Interior had just announced that they’d “lost” over a billion dollars earmarked for this use; Darrell remembers thinking “Imagine what just a MILLION dollars would do here.”
That deep thinking and that deep feeling are what we think make Darrell the perfect person to ensure the experience of every one of our clients and our team.