Meet Private Ocean Wealth Management's Channing Hussey, a 2019 North Bay Women in Business winner

Channing Hussey

Principal, Director of Operations

Private Ocean Wealth Management

100 Smith Ranch Road, Suite 300, San Rafael 94903


Read more profiles of 2019 North Bay Women in Business Awards winners:

North Bay Business Journal asked 2019 Women in Business Awards winner Channing Hussey to fill us in on her background, responsibilities and community involvement, and insights into what makes her a notable professional in the region.

Professional background:

Greenberg Traurig, LLP 2008-2012

Assistant to Managing Partner ¦ Office Administrator, 2008 to 2010

Litigation Legal Assistant, 2010 to 2012

Partners In Leadership, LLC 2012-2014

Operations Project Manager ¦ Executive Assistant to SVP, Operations, 2012 to 2013

Marketing Manager, 2013 to 2014

Mosaic Financial Partners, 2014-2018 (Acquired)

Operations Office Manager, 2014 to 2015

Director of Operations, 2015-2018

Private Ocean, 2018-current

Principal, Director of Operations, 2015-2018


Bachelor of arts, business administration – emphasis economics at California State University, Fullerton – 2008

G2 Leadership Institute (MBA alternative) 2017-2016

Misc. Culture and Coaching Certifications – Partners In Leadership - 2014

Certified Legal Assistant (Paralegal) – Association of Legal Administrators - 2009

Certificate of Interior Design - Interior Designers Institute, Newport Beach - 2005

Staff: Indirectly responsible for 50+ staff (entire firm)

Tell us about yourself and your company: I am a decisive and collaborative leader who has the proven ability to drive company growth through innovative people and culture management, operational process implementation and strategic initiatives. I have a comprehensive background in operations, marketing, technology, legal/contracts, sales and human resource management and a demonstrated ability to build cohesion, trust and project engagement across organizations.

Private Ocean is a comprehensive wealth management firm with locations in San Rafael, San Francisco, and Seattle. Formed in 2009 as a union between two of the Bay Area's most innovative wealth advisories, we are deliberately structured to give clients the intimate experience of a small firm, while harnessing the power, depth and discipline of a much larger one.

Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?

In 2018, Mosaic Financial Partners decided to aggressively approach finding a succession plan for the founder, Norm Boone. I oversaw beginning to end management of the research, execution and closing of the Private Ocean acquisition.

Starting first, with analysis of if an internal purchase would be desirable, leading to hiring an investment banker – DeVoe and Company – to represent Mosaic for an external sale then approaching multiple buyers, selecting Private Ocean, completing the sell side work plus representing 20+ staff for hiring into Private Ocean, and all other logistics that take place to close then integrate two companies into one.

What is the achievement you are most proud of?

I am affectionately known by many as the “Chief of Getting Sh*t Done,” because of my ability to see opportunities and challenges, clearly identify a path forward and execute on the plan flawlessly.

More important to me than a specific achievement is how I do what I do –it's what drives me in all areas of my life. I believe that in business, people are our greatest assets.

Inspiring greatness out of people to achieve greater than they believed they could achieve (particularly advocating for, encouraging and lifting women early in their careers) is my greatest joy.

I've done something right each time a colleague or friend has advanced in a role, been promoted to a new position, moved on to making a bigger impact in their community, and so on. I do this through coaching, modeling and pushing people to think bigger – to never see a problem as a problem – but to see them as opportunities, to find solutions and to be the change needed.

That weaves into everything I do, from building culture at Private Ocean, placing 100+ women into leadership positions at the Junior League, creating career path and development opportunities for administrative professionals with “Office Ninjas”, advocating on behalf of my community on the board for the Marina Community Association as a few examples.

What is your biggest challenge today?

With the acquisition of Mosaic, there are certainly challenges in the integration of Mosaic staff, process, and technology into Private Ocean's way of doing things. Bringing together two companies with rich histories and cultures may, on paper, seem easy, but the process goes far beyond numbers.

We care about a singular product – our people, and bringing along the hearts and mind of people in a meaningful way that connects them to their new organization is much more challenging.

Channing Hussey

Principal, Director of Operations

Private Ocean Wealth Management

100 Smith Ranch Road, Suite 300, San Rafael 94903


Read more profiles of 2019 North Bay Women in Business Awards winners:

Unlike many of the large acquirers buying RIA firms these days, Private Ocean cares deeply about real and true beginning to end integration – that all of our offices look like, feel like and produce the same client experience and culture. That requires looking at everything we do, how we do It and people in a much more in-depth and detailed-oriented way across all areas of the business.

Words that best describe you: Tenacious, compassionate, direct, thoughtful, engaged, curious, diagnostic

As a successful female professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?

Earlier in my career I felt that I was at times passed over because I waited for opportunities to present themselves. I learned then that I needed to step in and take the lead rather than wait for someone to hand me an opportunity. I learned how to trust my judgment and ask for forgiveness rather than wait for permission, and how to clearly, quickly articulate value or purpose in as few sentences as possible.

As an aside, I think my name, Channing, being somewhat androgynous gave me an advantage early in my career – people made assumptions of who they thought they'd be meeting or working with, and I could present myself in a way that allowed me to establish my voice and assert myself.

How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?

I don't expect a lot of change in the running of professional services organizations – the reality is that what CPAs, attorneys, consultants and financial services do is that they sell people's time.

That's never going to change – we are always going to be focused on culture and on inspiring people to be their best. So while technology will very likely influence the way we do the work – people will still be at the center of it. And managing people always comes back to the same thing – how to you inspire great work from people through culture, values and meaningful connectedness.

Who was your most important mentor?

A career isn't built alone and mine certainly reflects that. From the first attorney to give me a chance to be his assistant, or my step-father pushing me so hard in how I communicate at the dinner table I've been surrounded my whole life by strong leaders – a large majority being my male advocates. I have had an enormous amount of people give me opportunities and provide coaching and feedback to help in my growth.

What advice would you give to a young woman entering your profession or the work world today?

I had the pleasure of inviting my little sister Cheyenne (she is 20) to live with me four months during her last summer in college this last year so that she could pursue an internship is San Francisco.

I am sure that I learned more from her than the other way around, but the one thing that I think is distinctly different and better for women starting their careers now is the general appreciation that management has for the values women bring to their work – authenticity, emotion, and compassion to name a few. There has been a natural evolution in the workplace and there is real value placed on our ability to communicate on a personal level and lead from the heart. I would advise any young woman starting in their career to explore that and not shy away from being their true and authentic selves.

Most admired businessperson outside your organization: There are far too many people whom I admire to mention here – we recently had a partner event and I was impressed to see so many women professionals in all industries represented. I admire women who aren't afraid to step out of their comfort zone and step up to serve their communities.

Typical day at the office: It's fairly rigorous and structured – with any number of fires to put out along the way. I wake up at 6:30 and answer emails, coffee (a must), a call with the CEO, and then I float between three offices triaging issues as needed. By 4 p.m., I focus on getting project work done.

Best place to work outside of your office: I spend a lot of time out of my office but inside our spaces – I am focused more on connecting people, getting them what they need, and removing obstacles. No matter where I am, my cell phone is on me at all times – I work hard to be available to anyone who needs me.

Current reading: I don't currently have a book aside from a gardening book – my fire escape in San Francisco has space for three planters and I'm exercising my green thumb as much as space allows!

Most want to meet: Marie Antoinette – I think with my skills I could help her not lose her head and the outfits are fab!

Social media you most use: Facebook and LinkedIn.

Stress relievers: Green space and sunshine! Filoli Gardens is a favorite space for me, as is a ride through Marin County in my convertible with the top down.

Favorite hobbies: I do a lot charitable work.

What would parents or significant other say if asked to brag about you?

From Mom (Shelly Scott): If I were asked to brag about you:. She has a heart of gold, cares about people she leads, is a go getter, can find the answer in 45 seconds or less, never gives up, perseveres, doesn't give shallow answers, finds a way when no direction is evident. She is intelligent and makes good decisions and can own up when a mistake has been made and take steps to correct the issue. She is beautiful and the joy of my life.

From Partner (Sean Olson): Channing is an exceptional partner who enhances the lives of all of those around her. She is constantly pushing for excellence and routinely brings out the best in people around her, often far exceeding their own expectations of themselves!

Is there something we didn't ask that you would like to add?

I was the first in my family to go to college. I tested out of high school when I was 15 and went to college right after. My family are all farmers from North Dakota and Montana; my parents were the first ones to get off the farm and into construction, which is how we landed in California. The idea of going to college and getting a degree was unheard of in my family, and now my younger sisters have both graduated.

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