One stride at a time, Arnita Green has made her mark as a Maricopa business owner.
Knowing she is a former three-time All-America at The Ohio State University, who in 1991 set the 400-meter intermediate hurdles record in the venerable 100-year-old Horseshoe, Ohio Stadium, sheds light on her determination.
It is an event that from the outside can appear to be so graceful, with its carefully measured steps, and yet is so brutal, regarded as the hardest in the sport, indicating Green on the inside has the heart of a champion.
After a lengthy career in pharmacy, she applied the grit that drove her to success on the track into transitioning to estate planning, showing clients how to overcome hurdles. She owns Greentree Financial Solutions in Maricopa.
“This is my Olympics,” Green said. “I still feel like I’m carrying the torch. I view everything as a race, and this is just another hurdle to jump.”
Having their estate plans completed, she said, gives her clients peace of mind knowing the things they have worked so hard for — their legacy and assets — will be transferred to their loved ones in a stress-free and timely manner.
Green said Greentree has invested in technology that allows her to bring a fast, comprehensive digital estate-planning platform to her clients.
The goal, she said, is to assist individuals, families and small-business owners who want to be empowered to control their choices now and into the future through proper planning, ensuring assets are transferred to loved ones, bypassing probate.
“As long as you just keep moving forward, all the pieces at the end kind of show up,” Green said. “So, every step I take is a step of faith.”
Green grew up in the New Jersey countryside, her childhood filled with many 5 a.m. wakeup calls tending to the gardens and livestock.
“I’m a country girl at heart,” she said.
She’s still a morning person, too, often enjoying the sunrise at Copper Sky Recreation Complex.
“Most successful people wake up early,” Green said. “If you want to be successful, you have to do what successful people do.”
At Ohio State, those words rang true. Not only did Green have a daunting class load while she studied pharmacy, but she also was a leader on the track team. She quickly learned the value of organizing time while juggling classes, a sport and student life.
Green competed in the intermediate hurdles at the 1992 U.S. Olympic Trials in New Orleans, placing sixth in the finals, missing making the Olympic team by a fraction of a second.
“I just am thankful that I was able to make it that far,” Green said. “I was training for the Olympics twice a day while juggling a physics lab, organic chemistry, biology and a biology lab.
“And you know what? You just make it happen.”
Green’s post-college career
After graduating, Green jumped headfirst into pharmacy, a career that lasted a quarter century.
She settled in Chandler and raised her two daughters, now 22 and 24.
After they went off to college, Green yearned to try something new.
“You’ve got to know when your life is taking you in a different direction,” Green said. “And you have to embrace it. So that’s what I did.”
She moved to Maricopa in 2020 and saw a need for estate planning during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She retired from pharmacy and founded Greentree Financial Solutions, quickly building it into a full-time gig helping clients secure assets in the event of death.
“It really resonated with me,” Green said. “I thought it was a perfect match.”
The biggest change was that it’s not as consistent as a 9-to-5 job.
“When you have your own business, it’s different than expecting a paycheck every two weeks,” Green said. “It was a pretty smooth transition, but still, my mindset needed to be adjusted.”
She is responsible for managing her clients, answering their questions and guiding them. No two days are the same, and education is 95% of the job, Green said.
“Many people just think you need a will and that’s it,” Green said. “People don’t realize what they don’t know.”
Green hopes to expand Greentree to other cities.
“Having the opportunity to serve members of my community is an honor,” Green said. “And I’m at peace. I’m as happy as I could ever be.
“The thing that I’m excited about is with faith, there are no limits. If you lean into it, another world opens.”