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® (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.
Now as managing director of SVLQ (Silicon Valley Liquidity Fund), I work with international tech companies (still using Spanish!) in the business-to-business space. Typical SVLQ companies generate millions in revenue and require the creation of a Delaware C-Corp as well as the migration of sales and business functions to Silicon Valley where the existence of more than $4 trillion of market capitalization concentrates selling opportunities.
I’m glad I trusted my instincts. I love working on mutually beneficial merger and acquisition transactions from origination to closing, and it’s fun to look back and trace the dots to the knowledge I gained with CMA certification: financial planning and analysis, internal controls, ethics, financial reporting. That training was a perfect jumping-off point for what I do now.
For the last five years I have served on the board of IMA’s San Francisco Chapter. It’s been a great pleasure to engage with the passionate individuals who make up our membership, whose own uniquely dotted paths led them to this organization. I hope all of them will consider experiencing the benefits reaped through service to IMA.