Brendan Mathews (TMFWillSommers), a northern Virginia native, began following the Fool as a teenager as part of his lifelong love of investing. He graduated from the University of Virginia as an Echols Scholar, after which he promptly began a nine-year career in the corporate strategy practice of a big consulting firm. Along the way, he picked up an MBA from UC Berkeley and worked briefly at two California hedge funds. But he never forgot about his passion for finding great investments, and he's thrilled to be back in his hometown, working for the Fool. He enjoys scouring financial statements, pontificating on competitive advantage, and any outdoor activity.