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Joan Lynch

Joan Lynch

Vice President, Internal Audit
Marriott International
Bethesda, MD


Want to see the world and get paid for it? Grab hold of Joan Lynch’s suitcase handle. She’s the vice president of internal audit for Marriott, which not only means she’s seen more cities than a space satellite, but also that people rely on her to size up business issues, explain them clearly and show what needs to be done.

It’s a challenge, and one Joan enjoys quite a bit. In her career so far she’s spent time at one of the country’s largest accounting firms, worked in industries including tech, nonprofit and government, and even helped an internet start-up, well, start up. “Because it was new,” she remembers, “we implemented the accounting processes and systems from start to finish. I learned a ton.”

She also learned a ton when she joined Marriott and successfully lead the company through the brand new, 11-section Sarbanes-Oxley audit process. If that doesn’t impress you – and it should – consider that Joan managed this without giving up her extensive fitness regimen, which involves running, biking, swimming, weight training, tennis and golf. She also finds time somehow to volunteer with the elderly, manage two rental properties she owns and cheer on her Washington Redskins.

It’s a lot to keep up with, but so’s Joan. She loves her active schedule. “From the beginning, the appeal of accounting was the potential to become a Certified Public Accountant,” says Joan. “It’s a highly regarded designation that can take you almost anywhere.”

Got questions of your own? Ask a CPA.

From the beginning, the appeal of accounting was the potential to become a Certified Public Accountant.

Stats at a Glance

Years as a CPA: 23

Best job: Traveling around the world for Marriott International!

Worst job: Delivering the newspaper before the sun came up

Hobbies outside of work: Travel, fitness, sports, real estate

Words to live by: "Laughter is the best medicine!"