Magazine article Strategic Finance

Connecting the Dots

Magazine article Strategic Finance

Connecting the Dots

Article excerpt

Steve Jobs once said, "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward." For me, the dots relate to being a multicultural and transnational person, celebrating diverse interests and backgrounds, and challenging myself to top each new achievement. As an American citizen who had lived in six different countries by age 12, I attuned early to the importance of understanding other cultures.

I entered the business world as a plant manager for a small manufacturing company in my hometown of Portland, Ore., usually communicating with my team in Spanish. Since I was suddenly personally responsible for the organization's profitability-including sales, manufacturing, purchasing, logistics, and reporting-the CMA[R] (Certified Management Accountant) was the first certification that I pursued in my new role.

After we were acquired by a large multinational company, I found myself responsible for the auditing and security of hundreds of millions of dollars in IT assets. Understanding how technology supports business became my obsession. I love working with technologies that change the way we consume products, so when I was recruited by a technology company in Silicon Valley, I jumped at the opportunity.

After working in the financing of growth companies in the tech field (mainly as CFO, also often as acting business advisor to the CEO and CTO), I gained the attention of a top-tier investment bank looking for professionals who understood value generation and key reporting metrics for start-ups. Working across the life-cycle management of capital raises (debt and equity) from angels and institutions (seed to public offering), I found that my CMA experience was always appreciated by my clients. …

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