Even as her star rose at KPMG, Doughtie has remained an active and supportive alumna. “Giving back to Virginia Tech with your time and money will enrich the university and you,” she says.
On her first day in the corner office this past summer, Lynne Doughtie (ACCT ’85) had any number of pressing tasks to tackle.
What she chose to begin with might say something about her natural disposition as well as her new position as KPMG’s first female top executive and only one of two women in the U.S. to head a Big Four firm.
From the moment her firm announced her election as its new chairman and CEO in April to her starting day in July, Doughtie says, she has received a “tremendous outpouring” of support and encouragement.
Cause for celebration
“Fellow CEOs and senior executives, the Hokie community, clients, our partners and professionals, mentors, sponsors, family and friends, and complete strangers — all reached out to me and wished me well. It was overwhelming and so appreciated. It was like I received a big, welcoming hug,” says Doughtie, who has built a 30-year career at KPMG.
“So the first order of business was to continue to share my thanks and appreciation for all the support,” she says.
On the set at Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria” with host Maria Bartiromo.
Ut Prosim in action
Her sense of priorities wouldn’t surprise those at Virginia Tech who know her, including now retired professor Bob Brown, who served as department head of accounting and information systems for eight years.
“She is a very loyal alumna who has great affection for the department, the college, and the university,” Brown says. Doughtie has been a member of the department’s advisory board since 1999 and of the Pamplin Advisory Council in more recent years. Even as her star rose at KPMG, she has continued to make time to serve Virginia Tech, says Brown.
Doughtie has returned to campus regularly for board meetings and other events and helped with placement of graduating students at her firm. She has also been a generous donor to the department and the college, Brown says.
Lynne and Ben Doughtie enjoy time with their daughter Evie at a campus event.
At home on campus
“I just knew it was the perfect place for me,” Doughtie herself says of Virginia Tech. (Her husband Ben and their son Schuyler are also Tech alumni; daughter Evie is currently an engineering student at Tech.)
She started out in computer science but soon found her way to Pamplin. “I could really relate to my business courses, as I had wonderful opportunities to help with our family business when growing up,” says Doughtie, whose parents owned and operated a trucking company in Richmond. “Watching my parents succeed in business sparked my desire to pursue a business career, and ultimately accounting.”
Recalling her student years, she says what stands out most is the family environment. “I felt like the entire faculty cared for me as an individual, and they wanted me to succeed in life. They inspired confidence in me, and this was critical for me as I started my career.”
Her relationships with many of the faculty members continue today, she says. “These relationships have transitioned from professor-student to trusted friends and advisors.”
For success, remain inquisitive and grateful
To students, Doughtie advises making learning and skill building a career-long goal to ensure that they continue to add value to their organization, teammates, and clients. “To be successful today, you need to be smart, curious, and relish a challenge. An ongoing desire to learn is critical.”
She also stresses the importance of gratitude for the education and opportunities provided and expressing it by contributing to the university. “Giving back to Virginia Tech with your time and money will enrich the university and you.”