Natalie De Marco
President / Co-founder of
Natalie De Marco’s voice says it all. It is calm, direct, confident. And to my surprise, it remained that way on the day of one of Florida’s biggest natural disasters. Right before Hurricane Irma was about to hit, I received a call from Natalie asking me to reschedule her interview. The excuse? A pretty good one. She had to prepare for the hurricane. Not many would have even bothered to call me on such a day of upheaval, but that is not Natalie’s style. She is a consummate professional.
Instead of being hysterical, Ms. De Marco was instead calm and cool. No drama, no self-pity. She would instead face the devastating storm with the same grit she applies to all of life’s challenges. Indeed, Natalie can weather pretty much any storm that comes her way. Within a few days after the hurricane, she was right back at work…and it is that bounce-back ability which has helped her reach the top after years of hard work and dedication.
Not bad for a young lady who came to Florida with only $200 in her pocket and two cans of oil from her dad. Back then, she did not have much, and she began her career with just her brains, instincts and an amazing innate ambition to succeed. She had no money, no internet, no 500 plus LinkedIn connections, not even air conditioning in her car. It was just her, a friend, and 1974 Toyota Corolla. But she followed her instincts which told her to head out to Florida. Packing her bags, she loaded up, and headed out to a place she never had been before.
Despite her good looks, she is not your stereotypical blond, and she has spent her life to make sure the world understood that. From day one, she fought against female stereotypes and worked her way into a male-dominated corporate world. And she did it all on her own with an unyielding determination and drive which would define her career.
Originally from Pennsylvania and the eldest of two, Natalie moved from the confines of her home to the urban city life of Miami, Florida in 1983. Her eventual success came after knocking on many doors and making many calls and smart moves. Indeed, it was a bold move for a young woman back in the early 1980s. This wasn’t the time when women ran for president, ran companies or even marathons (the women’s marathon was not added to the Olympics until 1984).
When she arrived, though the world would eventually be her oyster, it did take some time. Girls became mothers not CEOs while there were those from guidance counselors to family friends, who did not take her seriously when she expressed her goals. Eventually, however, her hard work paid off. She became the co-inventor, founder and CEO of patent-pending media management system technology, Mango Cross Media, LLC and Founder/ CEO of Frontline Investment Consultants. She then held a position as USA East Region Group Vice President and Senior Vice President at Fisher Investments while in her first 4 years she brought in more than three hundred clients and $400 million in assets under management. She was ranked in the top 10% consistently and achieved the $100 million Club in one year. Take that Naysayers and guidance counselor.
Today, she is President and Co-Founder along with her partner, CEO and Co-Founder Glenn Bierman of Tycon Partners which specializes in Regulation A + IPO’s and assists companies by providing pathways to the NYSE. With such an impressive resume, she continues to lead the way. Since her days in her Toyota Corolla without air conditioning to heading a company, one thing is for sure- Ms. De Marco has shown the world that instead of giving up, she accomplished what very few women did back then. She said no to just fetching coffee and being just a pretty face. Instead of listening to others, she instead went on her merry own way, and headed straight to the top.
Q AND A:
Gaya Lynn: I read your bio; it was fascinating. Perhaps what struck me the most was your amazing determination to succeed.
In the beginning of your career, there you were…. a young woman with only $200 in your pocket (a loan from your grandmother, which you paid back), a ’74 Toyota Corolla, and little or no connections. But then you just jumped into what was a male- dominated corporate world, did things the old-fashioned way (you worked hard) and succeeded.
Natalie De Marco: I was determined to succeed. I didn’t doubt myself. In 1983, I drove my car down to Miami. That was it. Two cans of oil and $200 in my pocket. It was an interesting time. I was determined to succeed and not fail.
GL: It seems that you don’t shy away from challenges…a lot of us perhaps when faced with a challenge, back away. Instead, when faced with a difficult situation, you seem to dive in head first. You are confident about your skills.
ND: I never doubted myself. I knew if I put my mind to it, I could do anything I wanted to do. I didn’t have any female role models in business. I was the eldest child of two. I didn’t have anyone, especially a female say, “Wow, if they can do it, you can.” I had many things that motivated me. I always wanted to make my parents proud.”
GL: Being a young woman from Pennsylvania with goals that did not include raising a family must have been a rarity. I am sure things were a lot different when you first started out while female CEOs were few and far between. Was it hard being a female in what was a male-dominated corporate arena.
ND: I went to a small Catholic school. I remember in high school,
the high school football coach was also our guidance counselor.
One day, I sat down with him. He asked me, “What are your career aspirations?” Since I was a young child I had a fascination with aviation, I said. “I want to be a commercial pilot.” He laughed at me, saying, “Sweetheart, we are talking vocation not avocation.” That stuck with me. I thought, “why are you laughing at me?” I’m sure if I were a male student, he would have had a different reaction. I also remember a guy who graduated from the same school a few years earlier…I remember him asking me, “So what are you going to do after high school?” I said “I’m going to go to college.” He just laughed at me and said,” Why? You are just going to get married and have kids. Why waste your dad’s money?” So this is back in the 1970s, and I was bombarded with this stuff. But every time I got hit, I was more determined to prove them wrong.”
GL: You had many male figures in your life who said, No, you can’t do it. You need to get married, be a mom, and stay at home. But there was one man who believed in you-your father.
ND: My father was a Marine and I wanted to make my dad proud. Back then, there still was this old-world mentality. The boys were going to pursue careers, and the girls had limited choices. I wanted to prove everyone wrong. I wanted a successful career.
My Dad was a mechanic and owned a gas/inspection station in PA. He was a hardworking entrepreneur, business owner and a smart, kind and honest man with a stellar reputation. My Father worked 7 days a week, 18 hrs./day. We were considered “upper middle class.” My Freshman year in college, I enrolled in the Army ROTC at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He was very proud of me. I realized later, that my 2 years’ experience in the Army ROTC program was paramount in escalating my confidence and providing me the foundation to believe in my ability to be able to do anything I set my mind to do and I had my Father’s work ethic. My Dad supported my goal to learn to fly and get my Pilot’s license. I went to aviation school and took flying lessons during summer break my Freshman and Sophomore year in college.
Although, I absolutely loved aviation and flying, I soon realized the track I would have to take to pursue a career as a commercial airline Pilot would be very expensive. I decided to go another way. I decided to move to Miami. The economy and job opportunities in my PA hometown was depressed at the time and South Florida’s economy was growing. Certainly, no more cold weather and snow!
My parents were not cheerleaders and in support of my move to Miami. They were hoping I would end up coming back to PA. I drove to Miami in my ’74 Toyota Corolla, manual transmission @ 45 mph in the right-hand lane of I-95 to prevent overheating. My car had no A/C which was less than optimal in the South Florida heat! I actually had to sleep in my car while waiting for my apartment to be ready. But I was determined. I was not going to go back home and say, “it was too rough, too challenging, couldn’t do it. Too many obstacles. Rather, my thought process was, “Regardless of any obstacle, I’m going to succeed with hard work, resilience and determination.”
Initially, it was to prove to “them” that I could do it, but then it was also to prove to myself especially since you are being told you can’t for so long.”
GL: How did you get into the world of finance?
ND: Moved to Miami in 1983. No internet, cell phones, laptops, GPS, etc. Attempted to apply in person for a broker position at several retail brokerage firms but they refused to give me an application. Rather, they verbally offered the receptionist job so I could “get them coffee.” needless to say, I wasn’t flattered. I really wanted to get into the financial services industry. It was still a challenge for women to break into the male dominated financial services industry back then.
Early on, I proceeded to other industries including a French-US Based manufacturer. At 26, they promoted me to President/Treasurer and had a very successful and fulfilling career with them. They sold the company and offered me relocation and a Clevel job in Paris. Decided not to make the move to France at the time. Fast forward…I worked in 5 different industries, public, private and foreign and domestic companies as C-level, CEO, management, Sr. VP, etc. I worked hard, was always tenacious, and to date have over twenty years experience in the financial services industry. Eventually, my path led me to co-founding and serving as President of Tycon Partners in 2015 to date.
GL: In terms of your company, Tycon Partners, how do you stand out and how do you maintain your competitive edge.
ND: Glenn Bierman and I, the two co-founders of the company, have over 70 years of combined business, financial & Fortune 1000 experience. We offer our clients expert advice in corporate structure, corporate finance planning, branding, marketing and business development. Our experience is from both sides of the table. Regulation A+ is evolving and changing the IPO landscape for small and mid size companies. We thought, “what a phenomenal and exciting opportunity to help small and mid-size companies achieve their growth goals, create jobs and provide a pathway to the NYSE with Regulation A+…the new IPO.” We spent over 12 months of research and development. Glenn’s background includes investment banking and technology; he was also CEO of several companies, both public and private. I understand investors, know what investors are looking for, wealth and management, risk mitigation and again, have sat on “both sides of the table.” We vetted core competent professionals (“The Tycon Table”) for our clients- from the attorney, auditors and marketing professionals- our clients can be confident that we hand select key professionals and negotiate rates on their behalf to fit the small and mid-sized companies needs and limited budgets. For example, one of the attorneys we recommend, from a boutique law firm, is recognized nationally as a REG A+ expert. We negotiate customized fees for our clients If a company went through another attorney to do their REG A + IPO, they would pay much higher legal fees. We have a valuable network of resources, partners and contacts to help our clients.
GL: Wonderful. As we conclude our interview..Tell me, how was your experience being on the radio with WFN1.
ND: “It’s been wonderful. I think their format is excellent. It’s a great service to their business audience. I think it is well overdue. I listen to their show and other guests. They are fascinating and it’s a wealth of information and a great resource.
GL: Thank you Natalie. Finally, what advice do you have for those who are just starting out, and what do you think about this new generation where looks are so important mainly due to our fixation with being seen on social media.
ND: Obviously, there should not be any bias about looks, it should be about your confidence, motivation, drive, gumption and hard work. Focus on what you CAN control which is your own personal, spiritual and business growth and development. My advice would be “Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Know that regardless of obstacles and challenges, never believe the naysayers. Believe in yourself and be confident and never take “no” for an answer. Just remember that you can do anything, accomplish anything you set your mind to do. Just envision it and move forward!”
I’ll share one of my favorite quotes:
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
― Henry Ford
For more on Ms. De Marco and Tycon Partners, please go to www.tyconpartners.com
With an MFA in writing, Gaya Lynn has been writing professionally for 20+ years and has written for large PR firms, newspapers and many online sites both here and in Italy. After working as the media representative for Dick Marconi, one of the original founders of Herbalife, she now represents top artists such as Californian-based artist FRISCH and photographer Jimmy Wilson. She is the creator of www.internationallyknown.net
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