At the start of my time at FSM, I had Chinese takeout for the first time. The fortune in my cookie that day read, “You have an unusual ability to put your best foot forward at all times.” I found this to be inspiring, and taped it to the wall behind my monitor. When challenged, or faced with obstacles, I think about that fortune and push forward. It has stuck with me now for several years.
“Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” - Lou Holtz
Having grown up in Cleveland, Ohio I learned the value of hard work early. The expectations of my brothers and me were exactly the same and every reward was earned, keeping us very grounded. We were taught to keep a positive attitude and keep our focus on the future. This focus guided most of my major life decisions. I selected my high school based on the college I wanted to attend. At Notre Dame I went into accounting in hopes for a career that would give me the work-life balance I wished for (while enjoying the excitement of college football Saturdays). I decided to go into public accounting to gain a technical and analytical business skill set and have the ability to continue my life in the Midwest.
At Deloitte I audited clients of various industries including specialty chemicals, private equity, and the public sector. After several years I had the opportunity to join the startup boutique accounting firm, FSM Capital Management. As the CFO at FSM, I provided our clients with financial and accounting consulting and reporting and I also was the Chief Compliance Officer. I led a team that focused primarily on CFO services for private companies, funds, and family offices. In working with startup companies of varied sizes and industries, I found the most enjoyment in delivering the financial tools that companies need to build their infrastructure and analyze their business both with my clients, and internally with FSM.
I met Chris and Mark in 2013 during the fundraising efforts for Fund I and introduced them to the fund administration services that I provided at FSM. After working with Drive as a consultant and helping them grow from the ground up, being offered the opportunity to join them full time in 2016 was confirmation of the strength of the professional relationship we had built.
Although joining Drive meant leaving my family’s Cleveland roots and a firm I helped to grow and develop, I believe in Drive Capital and the value it is creating here in the Midwest. As the CFO of Drive, I am not only an asset to the firm, but to our investors and to our portfolio companies, helping them continue to grow and improve financial reporting and communication. My goal is to be a bigger part of this amazing era of technology, and my motivation is that Drive will help bring more excitement and accomplishment here to the Midwest.