What advice would you offer to women just starting out in the industry?
Your ideas and perspectives have
great value, and our industry has continued to evolve to provide opportunities for you that generations before
could only dream of or were a rarity.
Have confidence in yourself, and do
not be afraid to challenge the “norm”.
Different perspectives and viewpoints
add to the discussion, promote positive development, and assist change
within a group and/or organization.
Let your voice be heard; do not shy
away from your strengths.
What do you know now that you wish you
knew in the beginning of your career?
Developing and building relationships
are key. Branch out of your comfort
zone and get to know people both
inside and outside of your group and
organization. Join different groups to
develop and grow your network. This
own personal careers, and see them
continuing to pay it forward by teach-
ing the next generation of asset-based
What do you think the industry could
do to attract and retain the best and
the brightest today?
We need to look outside of the box
and be open to change to attract the
best and most diverse talent, not being afraid of creating opportunities
for individuals that look different than
you, or have a different background.
An investment in someone that has
strong skills, a good attitude and is
passionate about learning often pays
off more than someone with just a
good resume. But the most difficult
challenge is really retaining that
talent over the long term. It is key to
keep people challenged, engaged and
fairly compensated, especially during
the pendulum swings in our industry
that can result in either an extreme
amount of work or a long lull in activity. It is also critical to remain flexible,
recognizing that our world is becoming more automated and collaborating remotely through flexible work
schedules and telecommute options
can be a win-win solution.
can be as easy as joining a work or
industry sports team, participating in
volunteer opportunities in your community that are sponsored by your
company or industry, joining groups
within your organization like the Diversity and Inclusion group, women’s
networks, team member networks, or
attending one of the many CFA-spon-sored events. This can help improve
existing and future working relationships and provide for future career
What kind of role has mentoring and/
or sponsorship played in your career?
I was very fortunate to have strong
managers who were also mentors to
me. They taught me the ropes and encouraged my progression through the
organization and into management.
This mentoring has been invaluable to
me, but even more rewarding has been
the investment in paying it forward
by being a mentor myself. It has been
a personal highlight of my career. To
mentor a fellow team member and
watch them grow, develop and make
meaningful contributions to Wells
Fargo Capital Finance is extremely
gratifying and makes me feel like I
have made a difference. I am very
proud to see them progress, be publicly recognized and grow within their
Manager / Managing Director
Wells Fargo Capital Finance
heri MacDonald is a managing director, regional underwriting
manager for Wells Fargo Capital Finance. This group is responsible
for underwriting and closing middle-market asset-based transac-
tions that range in size from $10 million to over $2 billion, covering a
broad array of industries. She is based in Atlanta, GA. Cheri start-
ed her 20-year career with Wells Fargo in its Santa Monica, CA office, gaining
experience in field exam, syndications, loan administration and underwriting.
In 2006, she relocated to Atlanta to re-establish Wells Fargo Capital Finance’s
underwriting group in the South. During her time with the company, she has
earned the company’s highest awards, including two Golden Spokes and a
Chairman’s Award. She has also been actively involved in Wells Fargo Capital
Finance’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and the Women’s Connection, as well
as the CFA’s Women in Commercial Finance Committee. She is a graduate of
California State University, San Bernardino, with a Bachelor of Science degree
in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting.