Rising Star: Focus on relationships grounds Brittany Fulmer Ennen's approach to work and life

Contributed photography by Dan Henry / Brittany Fulmer Ennen

Brittany Fulmer Ennen doesn't live in her fears.

The 35-year-old Signal Mountain resident and realtor realized as a former competitive diver at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville that she wasn't fearless. Just resilient.

"I learned you just keep moving forward and do the best you can," says Ennen, who is the daughter of former University of Tennessee head football coach and athletic director Phillip Fulmer.

Ennen was 13 years old when her father's team won the national championship after the 1998 season, and a 23-year-old graduate student at UT Knoxville when he lost the head coaching position in 2008, so she has sampled life's ups and downs.

Navigating the peaks and valleys of her dad's professional life in such a high-profile sport gave her the sort of inner ballast that serves her well as a wife, mother and professional.

"The challenge of 2008 and dad getting fired was a life-altering experience," Ennen says. "The way he handled himself and loved the university - and taught us how to move on with grace - brought more good than bad."

Ennen is a realtor with the Todd Henon Properties at Keller Williams Realty team. She was recently named to the Leadership Tennessee Class of 2021.

photo Contributed photography by Dan Henry / Brittany Fulmer Ennen

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, activities for Leadership Tennessee have been moved to the fall, but Ennen says she is looking forward to learning from some of the state's best minds. The program is a professional-development initiative of Lipscomb University in Nashville for mid-career professionals, and has a network of some 300 members.

Ennen says the housing market in Chattanooga is hot due to low interest rates, but the supply side is a challenge, with only a fraction of the typical number of new and existing houses in inventory.

"Years ago you would go out for a day, see eight houses and make an offer on one," Ennen says. "Now, with all the competition, you are seeing 15 offers on a home. We have an influx of buyers and a very low inventory to sell."

Ennen has 15 years of sales experience, having sold Chamber of Commerce memberships in Knoxville and later medical devices.

"I fell in love with sales because it's all about building relationships," she says.

Brittany Fulmer Ennen

* Age: 35* Job: Realtor, Todd Henon Properties at Keller Williams Realty* Family: Husband, Josh; son, Noah, 8; daughter Natalie, 6.* Residence: Signal Mountain, Tennessee

Outside of work, Ennen makes time for volunteer work. She has been involved with the Alzheimer's Association and the Make-a-Wish Foundation, among other charities.

"Serving our communities has been a part of my life since I was young," Ennen said.

Ennen credits her UT education as a business communications major for laying the foundation for her business career.

"I taught public speaking in grad school and it certainly helped me," she says. "To look a person in the eye and shake their hand and be confident will always put you at a huge advantage."

Moving to Southeast Tennessee has given Ennen some space from the university and athletics programs that she grew up around.

"As a married woman, my name is not Fulmer anymore," she says. "You are always ingrained with the (UT athletics) program because you love the people. (But) my parents taught us to stand on our own two feet."