Passport to Success: Alumna Appointed Travel Channel CFO
We often don’t realize until years later which experiences have made the biggest mark on our career, but behind every great executive—and every successful business person—there is a moment that defines the direction their career will take.
For Kellie Goldstein, it was an international finance class during her masters in accounting program that would plant the seeds for her career. As she dove into assigned case studies of various international firms, she realized how important the global economy was to our future and actively started to seek out opportunities with multinational corporations to gain that broader experience.
Goldstein, a 1997 MS in Accounting graduate from George Mason’s School of Business, is the chief financial officer and senior vice president of the Travel Channel, the world’s leading travel media brand, available in nearly 96 million U.S. homes and more than 130 countries. In this role, she is the primary financial advisor and business partner responsible for finance, accounting, strategic partnerships, mobile programming, budgeting, and business planning.
“At Travel Channel we’ve been refocusing our brand to embody our passion for travel and our natural curiosity for exploring the world through making human connections,” says Goldstein. “I’ve been involved with partnering with independent production companies around the world to develop compelling programs—and we have 20 new series premiering in 2015!”
When Goldstein decided to pursue a career in finance, she says she had little money and few connections. Instead, she relied on her personal drive and the strong foundation Mason’s masters in accounting provided to advance her career.
“Mason is a top-rated state school in Virginia and rising. Mason’s ties with the local business and government community bring unique and practical experiences to the students, providing a greater launch pad and boost into post college careers.”
She also says Mason’s willingness to adapt to changing times and needs by evolving programs and embracing technology is very important.
Goldstein is returning to Mason on March 16 to discuss her path to success as part of the School of Business’s Brown & Brown Distinguished Speaker Series.
Prior to her role at the Travel Channel, Goldstein had a 13-year career at Thomson Reuters where her roles included serving as chief financial officer of emerging markets and chief financial officer of Asia, in New York and Hong Kong, respectively, and two of the highest growth divisions within the company.
Goldstein was recently honored as one of 20 Prominent Patriots who epitomize The Mason Graduate. Peer-nominated and peer-selected, the 20 Prominent Patriots represent School of Business alumni as the very best in demonstrating citizenship, scholarship, and leadership in their daily lives.
Her advice to students and young alumni, “Network with other people inside and outside of your field. Seek advice from people who can be your sponsors and who can help you find opportunities to stretch. Also, broaden your perspective; welcome opportunities for international assignments.”
Hear more career tips straight from Kellie Goldstein at the upcoming School of Business Brown & Brown Speaker Series event on March 16 at 6 p.m. at the Mason Global Center (formerly the Mason Inn) on Mason’s Fairfax Campus. Register Today.
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