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Back in the early 1990s, while a senior manager at Ernst & Young, Elizabeth Salomon was selected to be an “Accounting Fellow” at the OCC – the nation’s primary regulator of banks. Nominated by E&Y for the prestigious post, Salomon moved to Washington DC and was soon writing policy statements that would provide guidance to bank examiners across the country. Reporting directly to the OCC’s chief accountant, she quickly became a “go-between” with other banking regulatory agencies as she coordinated policy development. “This was something I never expected to do and the big learning for me was that it was okay to get out of my comfort zone.” Up to that point, Salomon says her career was about helping clients apply accounting rules, whereas at the OCC she was developing the rules – an exercise she credits with extending her thought process. Explains Salomon: “It was just a very different way of thinking.”
Following her OCC posting, Salomon joined Bank of America where she became controller of the bank’s IT and operations division. However, once more intrigued by opportunities that surfaced beyond her comfort zone Salomon jumped to a healthcare startup where as VP of finance she became the the primary architect of the company’s finance function – a role that certified her leadership credentials and advance her down the path to future CFO appointments. – Jack Sweeney
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