The latest Acton Alumni Story video features entrepreneur Zach Lynde (’04), the founder of Gray Hawk Payment Technologies, a company providing cash automation solutions for state and local governments.
Zach described a ten year journey for us, moving away from a corporate “life of quiet desperation” in 1997 to finally feeling like, “OK, I’m an entrepreneur,” in 2006. Before attending Acton he started out in one of the “big four” consulting firms, building accounting systems for federal and state systems like NASA. He owned a couple of art galleries and also served as CFO for two organizations and VP of Marketing and Sales for another. He says he always “participated like an owner, at every job” and that, with such long and varied experience at the top of these small to medium-sized businesses, he was “starting to get confidence in [his] ability to lead, but didn’t feel like [he] knew what the world looked like.”
…In each of those businesses, I found myself sitting in the decision maker’s role, and not really knowing if I had the facts or if I was making the best decision. I was a smart guy…but I really didn’t have the tools or the framework to know if I was getting the very best decisions…
Zach graduated from Acton “knowing no matter what chair [he was in]”, he could have a real glimpse into the business given 10-50 hours, and that he was “no longer excluded from any executive conversation.”
Now Zach Lynde is at the top of a quickly growing company in a $68 billion industry that’s expected to grow into a half trillion dollar industry in the next two years. He remains vision-driven, with a passion for “solving problems in an elegant way.” With many more ideas for Gray Hawk than he’s put into motion so far, he anticipates growing the company until “someone outpaces that vision” or his solution is not of value any more according to his “scoreboard,” the accounting system. He concludes,
…I feel so much better today about the life that I live and the dreams that I pursue—they’re mine.
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