BT alumni are doing exciting things and we want to share a few of their stories with you. Our next spotlight is Don Bravaldo, Founder and President of Bravaldo Capital Advisors and previously an auditor at BT. Check our interview with Don below and be sure to view his pictures from his time at BT!
When did you work at Bennett Thrasher?
End of 1995 through the beginning of 1999.
What are you currently working on?
I serve as the President of Bravaldo Capital Advisors. We provide M&A and Corporate Finance Advisory Services to lower middle market sized businesses which are often privately held, owner founder led, or family run businesses. We provide strategic guidance to our clients throughout the entire transaction process while providing execution services. An example of which could be for a sell side M&A client where we orchestrate a confidential and competitive professional sales process. In my role, I really enjoy business development and bringing in new clients. I also love working on deals and transactions for our clients. I feel a real sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in advising our clients and in managing a highly successful sale and exit process for private business owners and entrepreneurs who have sacrificed and risked so much to achieve a significant liquidity event.
What part of the BT culture still influences you today?
A laser focus on client service. Having the opportunity to work directly with Rick Bennett and Ken Thrasher, along with other partners, I observed their commitment and loyalty to their clients. I learned from Ken and Rick to be very responsive to our clients, to maintain a solid work ethic, and I learned the value of providing high-quality service to discerning clients.
How has working at BT helped you succeed in your career & life?
Back in my audit days, a partner taught me that it was imperative to figure out issues when they arose and to problem solve. I learned that it’s ok to ask questions, but I also learned that you need to do your homework first (I learned that the hard way a few times). In the end, we’re all responsible for our own lifelong learning. We have to be curious enough to solve problems, and this is a lesson I like sharing with my own employees today. I also admired that our BT partners cared about their employees and took the time out of their busy schedules to give advice and to ask how I was doing. This is an equally important lesson that I incorporate in my own firm today.
What is a favorite memory from your time with BT?
My fondest memory is that Rick Bennett is responsible for a chain of events that led me to meet my wife. Back in the day, one of our clients spoke Spanish and we needed to develop a more robust understanding of the language to help them with their financial needs. One of our administrators had a relationship with the language program at Georgia Tech where my future wife was working on her Master’s while attending the language program there. Six BT auditors signed up for the summer classes to learn basic Spanish. I got an A in that class. While I may continue to fail at fluency in Spanish, I’m eternally grateful to BT for introducing me to my wife. We’re celebrating 21 years in marriage this year!
About BT Alumni Series
Are you a BT alumni who’d like to share your story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the chance to be featured on our blog and social media channels!