Featured Member: Lynn Sommer

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Lynn Haddad Sommer, Senior Director, Cabrillo Advisors

How did you end up in your line of business?

After graduating from Colgate University with honors in economics, I was unclear regarding what I wanted to be when I grew up. I completed a career questionnaire that asked what careers I could picture myself going into and I checked off accounting because most of the adults I knew were accountants. I was fortunate to join Price Waterhouse in audit, where I gained an excellent mix of accounting and professional skills. I was curious about the valuation group and reached out to them. I interviewed, secured a position and launched my valuation career. I am now a Senior Director at Cabrillo Advisors LLC, a national M&A and valuation advisory firm. At Cabrillo, we have a great team of Big Four and investment banking alumni providing sophisticated advisory services to public and private companies.

How did you first get involved with ACG/ACG Boston?

One of the Managing Directors at Houlihan Lokey approached me and asked if I would help write a case study for the ACG Cup, an investment banking competition for MBA students. He invited me to attend an ACG meeting where several industry professionals walked through the case study. The attendees’ professionalism and focus on networking made a strong impression on me. As a result, I became a member and then joined a committee. I soon learned that joining a committee was a deeper way to network – a way to truly get to know people and connect with them. I served on a national committee as well as the ACG LA Board before relocating to Boston, where I now serve on the ACG Boston Board.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

The former head of the PwC valuation group, Jim Dezart, told me to seek out people that I wanted to emulate and work with them. He told me to look around and see who was successful in what I was trying to accomplish. I have always heard that you should hire people that are smarter than you, and this advice from Jim took it one step further for me. Surrounding yourself with people who challenge you and whose values and capabilities you respect is paramount, even if it takes you outside your comfort zone.

What is something people don’t know about you?

On the personal front, I have completed a marathon and a sprint triathlon and I am certified to teach yoga and spinning. On the professional front, I founded a women’s networking group, the Magnolia Ladies, which consists of an impressive group of women professionals from law, finance and other fields. Our events range from happy hours and unique private events to supporting causes of significance. The group started in Los Angeles and we have since added San Francisco, New York and Boston chapters.

What is your most satisfying professional accomplishment?

I am the most satisfied by the mentoring that I have been able to do over the course of my career. I have had many mentors and guides that have helped me along the way and I love to pay it forward. I enjoy mentoring those who work with me as well as job seekers. I seem to have a particular affinity for helping people find jobs. I enjoy seeing my former reports rise and grow in their careers. It’s very satisfying to have played some part in the growth and success of others.

What is the best vacation you’ve ever had?

When I was younger, my father and I took a five day whitewater rafting trip down the Colorado River. I will always remember this as the week that I really got to know him as a person and saw him interact in a different way than as a parent. I saw and learned what had led to so much of his success. He led and encouraged people, took charge even though he wasn’t in charge, made people comfortable and treated everyone kindly. I saw a microcosm of his world and learned so much that I still apply in everyday life. I learned from him that people can take business seriously but still be full of life. A trip down the Colorado River is also incredibly fun and I highly recommend it!

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