“Though she be but little, she is fierce!” ― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
These words could not be more accurate when applied to Lynn Chen-Zhang, the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Compliance Officer at Zhang Financial. With a photographic memory, a natural talent for seeing relationships in complex numbers, a love of people and a charitable heart – financial planning was the perfect career choice for her.
Born in Shanghai, China, Lynn came to the United States in pursuit of education. Having attained several degrees and titles, she partnered with her husband Charles Zhang at Zhang Financial. Although born and raised in China, Lynn has been in Kalamazoo for most of her adult life and is proud to call Kalamazoo her hometown. She and Charles raised two sons here, who are now grown and following their own paths, leaving her an empty nester for the last six years along with Charles and their Shih Tzu, Sparky, who comes to work with them each day.
Recognizing that finance can be a very stressful topic, Lynn has put every effort into making her clients feel comfortable and relaxed. She explained that when you truly listen to someone without bias, you can become more understanding of them. Lynn is most satisfied when talking to clients about their lives, their special trips, plans, and happy stories. Although she could retire comfortably, she continues to come to work each day because she loves her interactions with her clients. She jokes, “I will be 90 and still calculating numbers and talking to clients!” All of her hard work and attention to detail is paying off, as she has been selected as one of the country’s Top 100 Women Financial Advisors by Financial Times, as well as one of the Nation’s top 100 Women Financial Advisors and the #1 Female Financial Advisor in Michigan by Barron’s. These are just a few of the accolades and prestigious titles she holds.
Although running a successful, multi-office business, she still has made time for things that are most important to her. Philanthropy is a very high priority, and she demonstrates this by generous contributions to numerous charitable organizations and causes, as well as sitting on the boards of several organizations, including the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees and the WMU Foundation Board of Directors, of which she is the President.
Aside from education, Lynn is very passionate about animal welfare. She says that people are ultimately responsible for their own situation. “You can blame society or anything else, but ultimately somewhere down the road you made a wrong decision, and coupled with other factors led you to where you are today.” Animals cannot make their own choices. A human made a choice, leaving animals at a real disadvantage. She has donated generously to local animal charities and continues to support animal welfare by presenting the annual Reverse Raffle, a benefit for the spay and neuter program of the Kalamazoo Humane Society. Even Sparky, her beloved Shih Tzu takes part in the event and has been awarded the Kalamazoo Humane Society’s Lead By Example award for 2018.
FAVORITE “GUILTY PLEASURE”: Shoes! I like the one with the red heels. Louboutin.
PERFECT DAY: Coming into work, seeing several clients who are all happy in their lives.
HIDDEN TALENTS: I love to dance. I participated in the WMU Dancing with the Stars in 2017 and won People’s Choice with a tango. My husband, Charles and I have enjoyed ballroom dancing together.
WORDS OF WISDOM: People tell you to work on your weaknesses. I say, at some point, you need to do things that do not work on weakness. You need to find your strengths and do
things that maximize them.
CATS OR DOGS?: I like dogs, and also cats that act like dogs. Cats tend to look at you like they are better than you, but some cats love everyone and behave more like dogs.
CONTRIBUTED BY JULIE BARBER