Hello, I'm Shirin

I’m a speaker, CEO, entrepreneur, philanthropist, business advisor, wife to a terrific husband, and mother to two amazing children.

Shirin Behzadi
Board Member, Advisor
and Keynote Speaker

Hello, I'm Shirin

I’m a speaker, CEO, entrepreneur, board member, business advisor, wife to a terrific husband, and mother to two amazing children.

My mission is to help people & organizations create an Authentic Vision

rooted in the philosophy of Doing Well by Doing Good so they can experience massive growth and make a positive impact on the world around them.

I've had a remarkable career but my journey has not always been easy.

Yes, I’ve been a CPA, business advisor, CFO, and eventually CEO of a company I grew to hundreds of millions of dollars in sales and double its value in almost four years.

But I’ve also been arrested…just for having a book.

I was left alone without parents in a strange city where I didn’t speak the language.

And I’ve been diagnosed with a brain tumor that almost cost me my life.

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Through all the ups and downs, I held onto the belief that more was possible. Living with a vision of what could be instead of what is has changed everything.

This is My Story.

The Journey to America

I was born in Iran, a beautiful country that was taken over by an oppressive regime when I was 12.

I had parents who loved me deeply, saw my potential, and wanted me to have every opportunity possible. But opportunities for women in my country were dwindling fast, especially if you were bright and outspoken, which I happened to be.

This reality was brought home when I was fifteen years old and arrested with my friends— for having a book.

Although I was eventually set free, senseless arrests, executions, and the chaos of the war around us became commonplace.

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It was when the universities began to close that my parents made a tough decision— they sent me out of the country by myself…at 17, with little money and no one I knew.

It was a very difficult journey, but they believed it was necessary for my survival.


Thanks to a series of near miracles and
indomitable persistence,
I made it to Istanbul, Turkey, and then to the US at a time when Iranians weren’t allowed into the country.

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From Gas Station Attendant to CEO

I arrived in the US with experiences unlike anyone around me. Yes, they were hard, but they also taught me that regardless of any adversity I faced, I could achieve any vision I set for myself. I was alone and needed an income, so I became a gas station attendant.

But I was determined to change my circumstances. My vision was to run an organization like GM someday.

So, I got to work.

I earned a scholarship to attend California Polytechnic and graduated with a BS in Accounting (while still working full time as a gas station attendant).

Afterward, I joined Ernst & Young as an auditor in the Financial Services Practice for a few years before joining mortgage bankers, The Hammond Company, as their Chief Financial Officer.

I had a good job and steady income, but...

I thought I could do more.

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Taking a Risk

I decided to start an offsite CFO consulting practice. It was a hard decision, but it gave me the opportunity to partner with a lot of great business and finance people.

It was here I gained a deep understanding of private equity, capital investments, and successful exit strategies.

It also provided me with the flexibility I wanted so I could be an involved mother to my children: I wanted to be a mother who happened to work.

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Taking that risk opened up more doors. I ended up joining an entrepreneurial company where I stayed for 20 years. There, I grew my entrepreneurial muscles and also helped grow the company by leaps and bounds.

I took on more and more leadership roles and eventually
took the helm as CEO.

The Brain Tumor
That Changed Me

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In 2009, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was lodged between my optic nerves.

It couldn’t have come at a worse time.

I was a CFO, involved PTA mom, and a fitness junkie. And now, I was going to have to endure 15 hours of surgery.

And then I was going to have to relearn how to walk.

I was determined to persevere and was even back to work in a few weeks, but it was a very long and demanding recovery. For months, I couldn’t even move my neck.

Despite the pain and suffering, I discovered a more improved and authentic life that allowed me to be a better leader and eventually to lead my company to greater success.

You can read more about how the brain tumor changed my life here.

I grew through this experience, determined to be a more empathetic leader.

To use my strengths in running a business to lead in a way that was good for everyone.

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Creating Massive Growth As A CEO

In 2015, I became CEO of Home Franchise Concepts.

I had the privilege of working with an incredible team to transform and professionalize the company into a top-selling family of direct-to-consumer brands in the home-related goods and services space.

During my time as CEO, systemwide sales grew substantially with double-digit top and bottom-line growth year over year. By the time I stepped down in 2019, sales had risen to hundreds of millions of dollars across more than 1700 franchisees.


If you want to know more, watch this video Forbes made about me!

I oversaw the acquisition of another company with PE backing and eventually managed a very successful sale and exit for our partners.

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Doing Well By Doing Good

I am passionate about letting the world know that the path to doing well in life is through doing good.

Since I stepped down as CEO in 2019, I’ve been using my experience and insight to help leaders, entrepreneurs, and companies create and achieve their Authentic Vision so they can experience phenomenal success.

I also work to give people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to thrive as business owners and as employees in companies that care about their communities.

And I’ve been advocating for change in my home country of Iran, especially for women. You can hear more about this here.

I do all of this through board service, speaking, news appearances, sharing on social media, and advising companies or C-suite executives.

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Throughout my career, I’ve initiated and supported many charities and since 2019, I’ve also served on the board of several organizations, including the United Way of Orange County, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, and others.

Additionally, I am the main investor, chairperson, and advisor to BOMANI, an alcohol-infused cold brew coffee drink, launched and being successfully grown by my son, Sam (I’m very proud of him!).


If I can help you on your journey, please reach out. I’d love to hear from you.

Recognition & Awards

How Shirin Behzadi Grew Home Franchise Concepts Against All Odds

Beating Brain Cancer to a $670 Million Business: The Amazing Story of Shirin Behzadi

Claim your life, urges Budget Blinds’ CEO

EY announces winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2018 Orange County Awards

Orange County 500 Most Influential

Claim your life, urges Budget Blinds’ CEO

Shirin shares lessons learned from a career of success in business.

Grow & be inspired each week:

Read thoughtful articles and learn from Shirin’s experiences on her blog.

View previous interviews, motivational messages, and business insights on Shirin’s YouTube channel.

Connect with Shirin on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on speaking engagements, Board initiatives, and inspirational messages.

Connect with Shirin to see a blend of personal and professional storytelling as she provides a peek into her everyday life.

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