Avani Desai is a Partner and President at Schellman & Company, LLC, the largest niche CPA firm in the world that focuses on technology and security assessments. She is also CEO and co-founder of MyCryptoAlert, a push notification and portfolio app for cryptocurrency. Avani started her career working at a Big 4 accounting firm (KPMG) for over 10 years, where she led a team and oversaw IT Risk Management and Privacy across national service-lines. In addition, Avani managed the development of internal and external privacy programs and related practices, leveraging her deep knowledge with healthcare and emerging technologies, such as blockchain, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, internet of things, and virtualization.
Also passionate about strategic philanthropy, Avani sits on the board of Arnold Palmer Medical Center, the Central Florida Foundation, and is the co-chair of 100 Women Strong, a female-only venture capitalist based giving circle that focuses on solving community-based problems specific to women and children by using data analytics and big data. Avani is also an avid runner, always looking to sign up for the next Disney marathon.
With all that being said, Avani still considers her greatest accomplishment to be personal rather than professional—she is the proud mother to her 8-year-old son, Sahil, and her 5-year-old daughter, Sareena.
In this episode you’ll hear:
- Avani shares her journey from majoring in computer science, landing a job growing her career with a top accounting firm, and then choosing to step away to focus on being a mom (3:04)
- The reality of being a working mom, creating a different narrative and how the low point she hit exiting from the firm turned into an opportunity to reinvent herself (11:24)
- How her journey at Shellman began and her path to becoming Partner and President of the company (15:14)
- The value of mentorship and Avani’s shift to focus on making Shellman a people centric company ensuring employees felt they could dedicate time to their families while still growing in their career (19:02)
- Avani shares her three tips for balancing life while taking over and growing a large company (21:07)
- Releasing gender roles and setting the example for our children so gender inequity doesn’t exist for future generations (37:42)
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