Xplorer Chelsea Trout
Basketball, hard work, and bringing a coach’s mindset to work
The ins and outs of small businesses have always been a part of Chelsea Trout’s life: how time consuming it can be, how determination is everything, and how teamwork is essential for growth. That’s because, growing up in a small town in Maryland in a large family, she watched her father tackle the challenges of growing and scaling a business while the rest of her family made it all work with school and sports, despite the financial obstacles.
“Our household was a bit chaotic with four children, with my mom constantly running us from practice to practice, game to game, and taking on most of the responsibilities at home while my father ran his business,” she said. “We were extremely close as a family, supporting and challenging each other.”
But she knew that, as she watched her father build a successful business from scratch, everything her parents did was for their family. Through good times and bad, they were always there for one another, pushing each other to be their best. “My father showed me what success could look like through hard work. He taught me that with effort and determination – and a little bit of luck – anything was possible.”
Her family life, however, isn’t the only root of her diligent work ethic. Chelsea also developed her mindset through another formative part of her upbringing: her love for sports. In fact, Chelsea was part of the NYU Women’s Basketball team. Teamwork, coaching, and developing others remain steadfast principles she carries with her today.
“My experience playing sports, throughout my childhood and into college, inspired me to want to help others achieve their goals and dreams,” she said. “Having a winning team means everyone needs to strive for success. When we work together toward a common goal and build each other up, success naturally follows.”
Today, Chelsea is the SVP of Merchant Sales of Xplor Pay at Xplor, and lives in South Florida with her son and wife. Chelsea’s career in payment processing started with Payment Alliance International, where she served as the Manager of the Target Marketing Group, which was the company’s inside sales division. In 2017, Chelsea and the Target Marketing Group joined Clearent as part of the acquisition of Payment Alliance International’s Merchant Service Division. Clearent then merged with Transaction Services Group to become Xplor Technologies in 2021. Since that time, Chelsea has held numerous progressive roles that have helped Xplor’s association, referral, and software partners educate their members and customers about the benefits of integrated payment solutions.
Chelsea leads the team which ensures small business owners across the nation have the payment options they need to grow their business. Chelsea says some of the most important lessons she learns in her work come from customer feedback. “These insights have helped shape my understanding of our customers’ needs, their roadblocks, and how we can make their lives simple through technology, innovation, and service,” she said.
As a leader, Chelsea helps her team reach their full potential by making sure they are in positions where they can leverage their strengths, feel empowered to make decisions, and readily see how their contributions support the company’s goals and objectives. “It’s important that we inspire our teams and encourage them to continue to develop their skills. Some of the ways we do this are through promoting idea sharing and mentoring,” she said. Chelsea also believes in meeting people where they are and setting expectations. “Expectations are everything. In order for people to be successful, they first have to know what success looks like,” she said. “Have confidence in others and give them freedom to grow as individuals and take on new challenges."
All that said, it comes as no surprise that the Xplor value that resonates most for Chelsea is move with purpose. She finds inspiration in the idea of everyone working together in pursuit of a common goal. “Whether it’s bringing new product sets to our customers or ensuring we reach our sales goals, it feels like we are all pulling in the same direction so we can get to where we need to be as an organization,” she said. Not only does Xplor’s teamwork mindset inspire her – its commitment to inclusion does, too. “I truly feel like I can be my authentic self at work without judgment. People are valued for their ideas and contributions, and for their desire and ability to help others succeed. I’m excited to be part of something impactful, something that will leave a legacy.”
Chelsea also strives to make sure the people around her have a positive experience – something she’s reminded of by her favorite quote by Maya Angelou: “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel."