THRIVE is an AIWA project dedicated to highlighting individuals who are doing remarkable things in their personal and professional lives to better themselves and those around them. These individuals are inspiring, dynamic, innovative and interesting. Today, we feature Cynthia Tusan, Founder and CEO of Strategic Global Advisors (SGA), LLC, a woman and employee-owned registered investment advisor based in Newport Beach, California.
Cynthia Tusan (She/Her) is the Founder and CEO of Strategic Global Advisors (SGA), LLC, a woman and employee-owned registered investment advisor based in Newport Beach, California.
Cynthia Tusan is the Founder and CEO of Strategic Global Advisors (SGA), LLC, a woman and employee-owned registered investment advisor based in Newport Beach, California. SGA, which began in 2005, manages close to $4 billion in international, global and domestic equity strategies, primarily for institutional investors and has earned numerous awards over the years for excellence in asset management and performance, in 2012, 2016, and 2018. She is a CFA charter holder and is a member of the CFA Society of Los Angeles and the CFA Society of Orange County. Ms. Tusan is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the Anderson School at UCLA. She currently serves on the Career Services Advisory Council at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she leads their capital campaign to build their Career Services, Diversity and Interfaith Center.
More than three years ago, Ms. Tusan set out on a purpose driven path to impact after school programs that are critically important to working mothers. After a global search for a world class after school program that has the potential to scale exponentially, Ms. Tusan acquired the award winning after-school franchise system called Idea Lab Kids. She immediately began converting their lessons to projected based, interactive video content to be offered through an edtech platform that can be accessed by any school or after school program called STEAM on Demand which won top awards in 2021 for Innovation from the Houston Business Journal. The platform has been piloted with great success in some of the country’s largest school districts and after school programs.
In 1992, Ms. Tusan founded Junior Achievement of Armenia which grew to impact more than 2 million youth in Armenia. Together with Armine Hovanissian, Executive Director, Ms. Tusan realized great success in exposing the youth of Armenia to entrepreneurship, economics and civics education. For her work, Ms. Tusan received the Golden Global Leadership award from Junior Achievement International and the Professional of the Year Award from the Los Angeles Armenian Professional Society (APS) in 2003. More than 20% of the population of Armenia has been through the Junior Achievement of Armenia programs.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
In a nutshell, I am the daughter of an economist and artist, I am an entrepreneur, I am a mother, I am a Portfolio Manager. I see so many opportunities, it can be frustrating, given the limit of 24 hours in the day.
Q: What is your life philosophy?
Encourage young people to be leaders. Set the example for your kids, your employees and your friends. Seek help and give help generously. Do what you say, be reliable. Do no let fear drive your decision making, be brave. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Give credit. Pay others before yourself. If you think you are heading for financial crisis, exercise or start going to the gym every day, if you fail, at least you will look good.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being Armenian/Armenians?
The Armenian Community is so inclusive, I have always had the opportunity to participate in so many interesting areas including art, tech, business, blockchain. etc. I have always been able to reach out for help to an Armenian who is a leader in the field where I may be needing advice or input. Most of all, I love traveling to Armenia with friends and family.
Q: How has the Armenian culture shaped / influenced you?
The Armenian culture has been important in making me appreciate truth and the underdog. Seeing how members of such a small community can impact the world from Steve Jobs to Noubar Afeyan makes me understand the importance of the individual. Never underestimate the real cost of the loss of human life whether it is from conflict, disease, etc. Every person matters.
Q: What is your hope for the future?
I believe the entire world is on the fast track to greater efficiency and creativity. Of course, I would like to see equality for women worldwide, world peace and a long-term solution to climate change. In the meantime, my hope for the future is that the companies I have founded continue to grow and lead in terms of being inclusive and innovative places to work in order to attract and retain talented team members.
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