Commercial Real Estate, Capital, Insurance, Leasing & Management

Tampa Bay Business Journal: Meet Andy Zahn, a 2024 CFO of the Year honoree

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Andy Zahn is the CFO of Franklin Street, a national, full-service commercial real estate firm based in Tampa. Zahn joined Franklin Street in 2020 from World of Beer, where he served as CFO from 2018 to 2020.

What inspired you to become a finance executive? As a young boy I was always fascinated by numbers, particularly baseball statistics that appeared on the back of baseball cards. I would analyze player A’s performance vs. player B’s performance and such until I figured out who the better player was in a given year. As I grew older, I realized that I wanted to be involved in the sport of business and was drawn to the financial side of things pretty quickly. Once I had my first consulting/accounting job, I was hooked.

What technology, if any, has been introduced in the past few years that has helped the most in your job? Like many others will likely answer, I believe generative AI has been a game changer. Ask it any question and it will provide you with a myriad of answers to help guide your thoughts around a specific question or problem. As the data that goes into these models becomes more robust, we as financial leaders need to be at the forefront of embracing this technology to optimize and drive more thoughtfulness into the decisions we make on a daily basis. As a caveat, AI did not provide me with this answer.

What drives you to succeed? It may be trite, but setting an example for my two sons is at the forefront. I’m also driven by not letting my team down. When you realize every action of yours has an impact on other people’s lives, the stakes become much more real and giving your best every day becomes that much more important.

What is your favorite book? An oldie but a good one: “The Alchemist”

What’s a hidden talent few people know about you? I can smoke a mean brisket.

If you weren’t a CFO, what would you be? History professor

What was your first ever paid job? Paperboy, when those existed

What’s your favorite movie of all time? “Hoosiers”

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