LRN Perspectives

Hawaiian Style: Gurstel Law's Amy Mertz Brown on Applying Aloha Spirit to E&C 

March 2, 2021 LRN Corporation

“That’s one of the biggest challenges in the private sector, bringing those entity-wide issues down to a personal level, and show folks why they need to follow those rules so that the organization can be on the right side of the compliance line.” 


Amy Mertz Brown 



Amy Mertz Brown has more than 30 years of experience as a leader, lawyer, and compliance professional. Since August 2020, she has served as Chief Compliance Officer at Gurstel Law Firm, P.C., a creditors’ rights firm headquartered in Golden Valley, Minn. She leads the firm’s regulatory compliance with federal and state law concerning creditors’ rights and consumer rights, as well as compliance with operational requirements for the firm. 

Prior to joining Gurstel, Brown was chief compliance officer at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, leading a team of compliance attorneys and professionals to oversee government ethics compliance for all agency employees. Prior, she developed and implemented the enterprise ethics and compliance program at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She joined CFPB in its start-up phase and over the course of eight years helped to establish and build its in-house legal department. 

Prior to CFPB, Brown served in legal department management positions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. Small Business Administration. She is a 1988 graduate of Washington College of Law, The American University, Washington, D.C., and is licensed in California.



  • [1:42] What sparked Brown’s interest in ethics and compliance, and how has her career path led to her to where she is today? 

  • [5:00] What are some of the challenges of conducting E&C in a federal agency and what are the differences in doing E&C in the private sector? 

  • [7:26] What is Brown’s experience in joining Gurstel in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic? How can E&C programs help employees who join a company in the middle of remote work? 

  • [11:05] From Brown’s experience in government transitions, what did she see taking place in the current presidential transition? 

  • [14:00] What changes does Brown anticipate as the United States is back under Democratic Party leadership? 

  • [15:46] What is the “Aloha Spirit,” and how can E&C officers help incorporate it into their work to make them more effective?


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