Bolanle Williams-Olley of Mancini Duffy: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became A CFO

An Interview with Phil La Duke

Phil La Duke
Authority Magazine
Published in
8 min readSep 22, 2020

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To be a successful executive, you need to work hard and work smart — consistently. You need to show up and be the type of leader who is invested in creating space for the people within the firm to shine. To be a successful leader, you cannot use the approach that it’s your way or the highway. I recommend avoiding that approach.

As a part of our series about strong women leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bolanle Williams-Olley.

Bolanle is the chief financial officer and part owner at Mancini Duffy, a technology-first design firm based in NYC where she oversees the firm’s financial and operational performance. She has over 12 years of experience working in the AEC industry with a strong background in financial analysis and strategic initiatives. At her core, she thrives on building relationships between finance and management teams to ensure the overall financial success of projects and her firm. Her clients include Soho House, Peloton, Omnicom, Verizon, and The Assemblage, among others.

She is a dynamic leader within the AEC industry who has been a guest panelist for the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Women’s Leadership Summit, National Organization of Minority Architects 47th Conference, and the Mother Honestly Summit. Bolanle is passionate about service and is the founder of two impact organizations: SheBuildsLives — a non-profit focused on addressing the needs of children and improving the quality of education in low-income schools and communities in Nigeria, and REACHNigeria — a connector hub that creates awareness about NGOs and volunteer opportunities across Nigeria. She recently launched SheBuildsMoney — a company to help small design firms with finance solutions for small design firms with the goal of empowering these firms to be successful and thrive, financially.

Before her current position at Mancini Duffy, she served five years as a senior project accountant at Skidmore

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Phil La Duke
Authority Magazine

Author of “I Know My Shoes Are Untied. Mind Your Own Business”, “Lone Gunman. Rewriting the Handbook on Workplace Violence Prevention”, and “Blood on my hands