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Meet Lynda Martin-Lawley of LML Consulting in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lynda Martin-Lawley.

Lynda, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in a Bohemian family, where creativity was valued more than scholastics and financial success, which was not common in the 1950(s). It is ironic that a girl who thought she’d be a teacher or artist… would survive and thrive in a corporate environment, building the top performing sales organization(s) in 2 subsidiaries of a Fortune 100 company!

We lived in a small post-war home on a cul-de-sac in Culver City, near MGM. My father was an upholsterer, who spent his time in our garage making sofas and window treatments for clients in the Entertainment biz. My mother was a domestician who sewed, painted, decorated and could create anything with her hands.

From the time I was 6 years old, I would gather kids in the neighborhood to teach math. Did I love math? No…I was ultimately an English major. Once I escaped high school, it was apparent that I did not aspire to higher education and luckily fell into my mortgage banking career in my mid-20’s. During 30 years of mathematical financial calculations, I realized I was still a teacher of numbers!

I went to Venice High School, which must have been the most progressive school in LA, at the time. Teachers would join the students ‘sit-ins’ on the front grass to protest the Vietnam war. The 1st African American studies class previewed there and we were encouraged to think freely and independently. In retrospect, I’m certain that this liberal platform contributed to my fiercely independent business spirit.

I have always lived by the ‘golden rule’ my mother taught me: You always finish what you start and never give up on goals and dreams. Grit or tenacity will allow you to succeed in spite of overwhelming odds when people or statistics say you CAN’T! I believe we all ‘learn from each other’ and in my vocabulary, there is no more powerful word than Mentor.

My journey to attaining high success levels in business Leadership came from a place of knowing inherently that I was meant to Lead and be a teacher. I realized that although I was not a teacher in the traditional sense… through my team, I was inspired to support and guide them to their ‘next level’ of learning and success in their career(s). My team(s) knew that if Plan A did not work out, there were 25 more letters in the alphabet and they would need to find a way to get it done!

My ability to influence their business intelligence by fusing their dreams and goals into reality was powerful and effective. My ultimate goal was to inspire and coach the team to activate Results.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
During my career, there have been many obstacles along the way. Being a woman in a predominantly male world had its challenges. My goal was to be the ‘best of the best’, strive for excellence and have them measure me by the results. Over the years, my team(s) set most of the company’s sales records contributing substantially to the company’s bottom line in profitability, which spoke volumes.

Stress management allowed me to sustain and love an industry that could eat you alive if you let it. I realized about halfway through my career… that I had the ability to offload stressors, recharge my batteries and create a ‘quality of life’ balance. I coach other women in this area, as it’s key to survival in the business arena.

All careers, no matter how successful, have the ability to crash and burn when you least expect it. We were dealing in millions of dollars (at any given time) with great exposure and liability. Often unscrupulous individuals were attempting to scam the system. The Russian mafia, fraudulent loans and unstable staff were a few challenges I have encountered. At the end of the day, it’s your reputation, credibility and relationship management that keeps you in business. The negative issues are unavoidable… how you regroup and resolve them… is what is important.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am a Leadership Consultant, Mentor and Business Connector. My mission is to support and empower other women in growing their businesses. My goal on every Project is to earn the trust of my clients, who ultimately regard me as a ‘trusted Advisor’ for their business.

By sharing my 30 years of expertise and understanding their business challenges, I can offer pro-active strategies to accelerate quickly through the pain of growth and downsizing cycles.

Hiring smart and Leading smart will mobilize employee talent and is key to a successful business. I use a collaborative approach that finds solutions and strategies that embody the Culture and ‘belief system’ of a company.

I am most proud of the ‘legacy’ I left when I retired in 2006. My 160 employee(s) had been given the tools and opportunity to achieve reputational and financial success, as mortgage banking professionals. I have spent the last 10 years Consulting in this industry and still work closely with many of my former team members, who have created the great success of their own.

We all connect to focused, positive energy that is shared when we discover our professional ‘passions’… this is mine.

What were you like growing up?
I lived in a neighborhood that was predominantly boys… so I grew up playing war games, rather than with dolls. I had no way of knowing at the time… but I think this competitive, no drama male attitude prepared me for my future business world!

I really loved art and music as a young girl! My first ‘life lesson’ was I was not naturally talented in any of the finer arts. I attempted to play many instruments and found it tortuous and uninspiring. As I matured, my love for these cultural pursuits evolved into a passion for listening to all genres of music and becoming a Foodie. I now compete in the Ballroom Dance arena, so although it is not intuitive…I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone, as I want to continually grow personally and professionally.

I was very close to my Russian immigrant grandmother, who ran a boarding house feeding UCLA students. She was a strong, impactful role model that exhibited how anything was possible if you were willing to work hard. The comfort of walking into her house, smelling the roasting chicken aromas and the best matzo ball soup imaginable, were the origins of my ‘Foodie’ roots!

Speaking of Foodies… I am a proud, native Los Angelean and offer educational and Foodie tours in Downtown LA. The DTLA Renaissance continues to excite and is a passion project for me. It allows me to expose people to the cultural and artistic vortex of our dynamic Urban city center.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least about our city?
I was fortunate to follow the company I worked for to Pasadena and have lived there for 28 years. The railroad barons such as Huntington, famous architects like Greene & Greene chose in the late 1800(s) to relocate their families to this beautifully planned city.  The old world wealth helped preserve the historic architecture, while progressive, tolerant Leadership has encouraged cultural and ethnic diversity. Old Town Pasadena is one of the safest and most visited walking neighborhoods in LA.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 87 No. Raymond Ave
    Pasadena, CA 91103
  • Website:
  • Phone: 626.831.1687
  • Email:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Marina Serobyan

    March 14, 2018 at 19:46

    What an incredibly written piece! It was so nice learning more about one of the most incredible and inspiring female leaders. Lynda truly exemplifies the word MENTOR. Love LML Consulting!

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