Conversations with Celeri Network
By Celeri Network
Searching for achieving financial success? Every episode, Angela Gerguri, Celeri Network’s podcast host will invite entrepreneurs or small business owners from different industries that have achieved success in their business and interested in sharing their stories to the public. The show is aimed to become a great resource for aspiring professionals or students who are interested in knowing more about business, how to achieve financial success, and offer inspiration.
Episode 26: Castleigh Johnson, Founder of My Home Pathway, Head of Bank Partnership at Triton Advisory Group Discusses The Importance Business Management
On Episode 27, we welcome Castleigh Johnson. He is a graduate from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science in Management and International Business, and has also graduated from NYU Stern’s School of Business with his MBA in Finance and Accounting. He has then proceeded to expand his career and gain numerous professional experiences by working at large investment banking companies such as J.P. Morgan & Goldman Sachs. Currently, he is the founder of My Home Pathway and CEO of, a Fintech mortgage focused consumer app, as well as Startup Consultant at Triton Advisory Group where he helps startups build out and implement strategic initiatives.
August 5, 2020
Episode 25: Leo Lu, VP of Digital Partnerships at BNY Mellon Talks About How To Manage A Business
On episode 25, we welcome Leo Lu, Vice President on the Digital Partnerships team at BNY Mellon. Leo graduated from NYU Stern School of Business with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. He has a background in fintech partnerships, venture investments, and has experience in seed stage capital raising, community management, and social enterprise. He also has a blog, called After Hours Project, where he shares stories and interviews regarding how to use your free time in a structured manner.
July 22, 2020
Ep 24, Monica Watkins, Founder and Executive Director of Beauty for Freedom
On Episode 24, we welcome Monica Watkins, the Founder and Executive Director of Beauty for Freedom, a non-profit anti-trafficking organization based in New York City. Monica is an internationally respected and distinguished figure in the worlds of fashion, philanthropy, and women’s empowerment, as she is well known for being a successful model and has worked with Vogue Magazine, Elle Magazine, The Limited, Express, Anne Taylor, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, Victoria’s Secret and more. She has incorporated her fashion background into her human rights work as Beauty For Freedom and has served over 2,000 + survivors globally through organized fashion related and creative work events.
July 8, 2020
Ep 23, Patrick Janelle, Instagram Influencer, Founder of Untitled Secret & Co-Founder of Liquor Cabinet
On episode 23, we are introducing Patrick Janelle. Patrick Janelle started his career as a graphic designer at Bon Appetit, and has then branched off to start his own business ventures. He has also become one of the most influential lifestyle influencers on Instagram, going by the Instagram handle, A Guy Named Patrick, which showcases his chic New York City lifestyle, and an eye for design revolving around fashion and delicious food. He also has his own Youtube Channel which showcases a variety of lifestyle videos with skincare tips to how to cook something delicious! He was also awarded Instagrammer of the Year in 2014, and since then he has been featured in New York Times, The Architectural Digest, Adweek and more. He has also collaborated with his brother in creating a mobile app called The Liquor Cabinet, which features cocktail recipes and interesting insights behind the world of spirits and cocktails. Currently, he is now the founder of Untitled Secret, a digital talent management & creative service agency, which is located in New York City.
July 1, 2020
Ep 22, June Chin, CFO of Context Travel Talks About the Current Traveling Landscape
On episode 22, we welcome June Chin. June graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Economics and a Concentration in Psychology, and has had numerous experiences in the financial world, from investment banking to emerging markets investments to various in-house finance, insights and strategy roles at high growth start-ups. She is currently the CFO of Context Travel, an innovative consumer tech company on a mission to redefine travel. Context connects intellectually curious travelers with a network of guides with deep subject matter expertise, and brings to life their stories through personal, perspective-changing tours. Context operates in 70 cities across 6 continents and is a certified B Corp. The company has been featured in National Geographic, The New York Times, Forbes and more. Tune in to hear more about it!
June 24, 2020
Ep 21, Nick Wu, Research & Lead of CW Corp, Co-Founder and CEO of N3XTCON Talks About Entrepreneurship
On episode 21, we are introducing Nick Wu. Nick is a Research & Design Leader at CW Corp, a California-based technology company developing advanced volumetric display technologies.He has a PhD in electrical engineering with experiences on consumer hardware development from University of Southern California. He is also the Co-Founder and CEO of N3XTCON, a non-profit company that helps connect young aspiring entrepreneurs. Being an experienced startup investor in the industry, he has successfully invested in 30+ startups. He is also currently an Advisor at Giftpack AI, an AI gifting platform which allows an employer to send personalized gifts to their employees in an easy and clever manner. He also discusses with us, his favorite book that really inspired him to do what he does, and the mentality that one should have in order to pursue entrepreneurship. Tune in to hear more!
June 17, 2020
Ep 20, Ruben A. Austin, Director of Business at Burkland; Talks about Business Management
In Episode 20, we are introducing Ruben A. Austin, born in Germany and raised in the U.K., he now resides in New York City. He graduated from Pace University in 2012, with a Bachelor of Business Administration and International Business Management & Finance. He has also received several awards while attending Pace University. He is also a philanthropist and is an active ambassador for Beauty for Freedom, which is an anti-trafficking non-profit organization that focuses on creative therapeutic outlets to raise awareness across NYC. He has worked at various other companies such as GLOSSYBOX, Independent Consultant, Mobility Science and has showcased his leadership and business management skills throughout his career. He is now the director of business development at Burkland, where he focuses on providing expertise on increasing company revenue & growth, financial reporting, and decision support as well as management for other startup companies.
June 10, 2020
Ep 19, Benjamin B. Friedman, COO/CFO of Build Scale Grow Inc. Talks About Management Consulting During the Pandemic
In Episode 18, we are introducing Benjamin B. Friedman today. He graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, then later graduated with a masters degree in Business Management from Columbia University. He has had close to 20 years of experience in regards to working with startup companies, and has had numerous successes during his professional journey. His experience includes working as a VP of Finance and Operations at companies such as Tenthwave Digital, TRAFFIQ and Parsely Inc., which has ultimately led him to become the COO and CFO at Story2. Currently, he is the founder and CFO at Build Scale Grow Inc., which is a management consulting firm that specializes in improving the company’s operational system, the management and the software itself.
June 3, 2020
Ep 18, Ronit Bacalu, CFO from Kalyx Shares On Experience in PWC and Start-ups
On episode 18 we welcome Ronit Bacalu. Ronit began her career as an audit manager at Powerwaterhouse Coopers in Israel where she led engagements of public and privately held companies across a range and was relocated to the US in 2003. She spent over 20 years in the finance industry with transverse experience in technology, real estate, and financial services, where she highlighted her specialties in High-Tech Real Estate, Cannabis Agriculture, Private Equity, and the Start-Up environment throughout her career. Among her recent and current clients as Chief Financial Officer are Celsius Network, a leading Blockchain based P2P lending Platform, Kalyx, a fully integrated real estate development company, leading multi-state provider of commercial and industrial space to the highly regulated cannabis industry and Runway Venture Partners, an early stage venture capital firm.
May 27, 2020
Ep 17, Daniel L Nelson, Founder of Start-up Economics 101 Talks about Grow Computer and Finance
Daniel holds a bachelor of arts, economics and a master’s degree in accounting. He is often found calling himself a recovering accountant. He started his career early in 2005 working as an intern for a variety of companies fulfilling financial roles. After starting his career at Ernst & Young and AOL Daniel took a leap of faith and started Growth Computer. He has worked as a virtual CFO for numerous startups and is currently the founder for the Start-up Economics 101 and Grow computers inc. Daniel is dedicated to building the first digital operating system for indoor agriculture.
May 20, 2020
Ep16: Jon Lederer, VP, Sales & Client Services at Celeri Network speaks on PPP Loans and Fintech
The SBA has announced that the PPP loan program has funded 3.9 million businesses to date under the current pandemic of COVID-19. However, based on SBA’s data, there are 30.2 million businesses in the US that qualify, equating to only 13% of them actually receiving the funds.Many small businesses are furious they feel neglected and out of options. In order to help our audience and small business owners to further understand how to survive in the current environment, we have decided to welcome our very own Jon Lederer, VP of Sales. Based on his extensive experience with Fintech companies. Jon can further explain how Celeri Network, a leading lending startup, can support their customers and help them get the funding they need. Jon is an experienced sales professional who has worked with multiple start-ups and has been actively involved with PPP loans.. In this episode, Jon also clarify some points of being a person in the lending industry on questions and concerns related to PPP loans and SBA regulations. We also asked him what does his opinion on the current pandemic of COVID-19 and how is his prediction on the future business models in different industries.
May 13, 2020
Ep 15: Yashica Dutt, Author of Coming Out As a Dalit Talks about Working in Admerasia
Coming Out As a Dalit, a book that is about reflection on experiencing in traditional Indian caste system and a powerful young woman's struggle by speaking out for herself. Yashica Dutt, the author behind this masterpiece, is currently working as an Associate Creative Director for Admerasia, one of the top multicultural advertising agencies in the states. By coming from a background of being a Dalit, Yashica becomes a strong model by coming to U.S by herself and graduated from renowned Journalism School from Columbia University in New York City. In this episode, Yashica shared her struggles on growing up being faced with many discriminations towards her identity as a Dalit, and her passions of working in marketing industry. When she was young, she confronted her friends’ parents about her caste, which taught her an important lesson to speak out for herself. If you are interested in learning how to get into the marketing world or becoming a successful author, be sure to check out this episode.
April 15, 2020
Ep 14: Liseda Shelegu, Founder of The Main Tab Speaks on Female Entrepreneurship
The Main Tab, founded by Liseda Shelegu is the first and only high-end wholesale marketplace in the current marketa. We are honored to welcome her to share her experience as a successful female entrepreneur. Being in the sales industry since the last decade, she understands the struggle of finding the right platform for retailing and discovering potential wholesale and independent retailers; which inspired her to start The Main Tab. In this episode, Liseda shared with us her mission as a female entrepreneur in this current society, and the struggles she encountered during this journey. Although she was rejected by many investors during the early stages, it did not discourage Liseda from fulfilling her dream. Instead, she developed skill sets and some personal techniques which allowed her to flourish in the VC environment. From there she was able to launch many platforms, and collaborate with many authentic and independent boutique brands. If you are looking to be motivated by an inspirational story of a successful entrepreneur, you should not miss this episode.
March 25, 2020
Ep 13: Jennifer Geng, Jewelry Designer in NYC Talks about Starting Jennifer Geng Designs
Jennifer Geng, Jewelry Designer in New York City, who founded Jennifer Geng Design in 2012. Being a successful entrepreneur who is proud of serving great customer service and authentic design from her jewelry collection, She has experienced working in major jewelry design companies, such as Tiffany & Co. Having rejected her dream of being a fashion designer by her parents in her earlier age, she decided to utilize her great aesthetic and passion for design on diamonds and jewelry. She shared with us about her journey on being a jewelry designer, her knowledge of diamonds and jewelry, and her experience in working with different projects in the jewelry design industry. Regarding running a business in the jewelry design industry, Jennifer disclosed her secret of achieving success by learning from working with her father. If you are interested in getting into the jewelry or diamond design industry, you should not miss this episode!
March 18, 2020
Ep 11: Labinot Krasniqi, an Entrepreneur from Kosovo and Creative Director of Bon Vivant
Meet Labinot Krasniqi in Conversations with Celeri Network. We had the pleasure to discuss in detail his entrepreneurial journey as a restaurant business owner. In Kosovo, Labinot owns a variety of restaurants. He shares, his father was the biggest inspiration to join the hospitality industry. Being an expert and successful European restaurant business, he is currently the chief director and co-founder at Bon vivant. He also worked as a chocolatier, with Raaka Chocolate a New York (NYC) based chocolate company in Brooklyn. An interesting insight on chocolate he shares, his experience was very different in New York as he saw the different patterns of interest among consumers. He mentioned the variety is much broader in the US and he has a lot to learn. As a graduate in economics, business and management, he sure has a deep understanding of business and start-up culture. When asked, would he rather prefer taking business loans or using personal funds when setting up a business? He had a quick response. Check out the full video to know more in detail.
March 11, 2020
Ep 12: Sam Van, Former Associate Principle of FINRA Sharing His Experience at NYSE
Sam Van, Former Associate Principle of FINRA, shares his experience of being a finance industry veteran and working in New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Have you ever wondered what is the difference of financial markets globally? By working between Bahama and the United States due to his projects with Deltec, one of the biggest banks in Bahama, Sam shared with us his opinion with the financial market in both countries. Aimed to help young entrepreneurs and business students to gain more resources on learning entrepreneurship, Conversations with Celeri Network asked Sam “What is a good advice you will give to aspiring entrepreneurs”? Sam recommended aspiring Fin-tech entrepreneurs or aspiring finance professionals to keep an open-mind. If you are seeking any advice from experienced finance professionals or inspiration to start your own finance related companies, be sure to check out what Sam actually said in the video.
March 4, 2020
Ep 10: Isabella Yu, Managing Partner of a Blockchain Consulting firm called KoinEra
In our 10th episode, we welcomed Isabella Yu, a blockchain consulting expert. Isabella is a Managing Partner of KoinEra, a blockchain consulting agency in New York, which leaves her with much experience in the blockchain world. Graduated with a degree in Mathematics and growing up with parents who are both traders in China, Isabella has shown great interest in finance and technology. Being an early adapted trader since 2013, she shares her experience by running an investment firm with a focus on blockchain technology and digital assets. According to Forbes, approximately 5% of the crypto enthusiasts are women and 17% start-ups are led by females. Isabella shares the challenges she faced in this industry for being a woman and how she overcame those challenges. Isabella also shared that she believed since the fintech industry is the combination of finance and technology, she has faced “double troubles”. Check out for this episode if you are interested in learning blockchain investment, cryptocurrency, or being a cryptocurrency trader- you will surely love Isabella’s interview!
February 28, 2020
Ep 9: Gentian Mazreku, CEO of G’s Carpet Cleaning Speaking about Struggle of Small Business in NYC
Today, we are honored to have Gentian Mazreku, also known as “George”, a successful small business owner in New York, and CEO of G’s Carpet Cleaning. Gentian started to work in the industry at the age of 15 and decided to open his own company at the age of 27. By managing to successfully develop a great presence on Instagram and collaborating with influencers on Instagram, G’s Carpet Cleaning has become one of the most popular house cleaning services in the Tri-States. Insisted on using plant-based products to clean his clients’ houses, Gentian showed us his strength and vision as a successful entrepreneur in New York. He not only shared his takeaways in life to aspiring young entrepreneurs but has also taught those aspiring entrepreneur lessons on utilizing more resources when they need, such as business loans for startups. Do you want to know his secret on surviving after being jobless in the first few months in his startup? Do you want to know how to survive as a small business in New York?If you are a fan of G’s Carpet Cleaning’s Instagram account or seeking success stories from an entrepreneur who has a struggling past, you would not want to miss this episode!
February 26, 2020
Ep 8: Wilfred Daye, Former Head of Quantitative Trading in UBS Shared Experience at Lehman Brothers
Today's episode, we have Wilfred Daye, who was a former head of quantitative trading in UBS Investment Bank. Starting his career as a CMBS desk analyst at Lehman Brothers, Wilfred combined his interest in trading and his scientific quantitative background into making his a name in the industry. If you look at his career so far, you would be impressed like us. Having three different degrees, one is Ph.D in Molecular Pathology from University of Southern California (USC), Wilfred has dedicated himself a lot in science, which later evolved into his sharp perspective into this competitive trading and quantitative financial market. Besides his scientific academic background, Wilfred shared to us his opinion on business lending, his experience of working in UBS and Lehman Brothers, and his opinion on current technology and finanical world.If you would like to know what’s working as head of quantitative trading in UBS and Wilfred Daye’s future projects, you shouldn’t want to miss this episode.
February 19, 2020
Ep 7: Philip Kempisty, Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in New York Giving Advice for Tax Season
If you ask whoever is the best in knowing the cash flow of a big corporate or small business, an accountant is your go-to man. In this episode, we have invited an experienced Certified Public Accountant, Philip Kempisty, who has experience in working at a major accounting firm, and owns a personal accounting firm himself. Have you ever wondered what an accountant's life is like in reality ? For our small business and entrepreneur audience, Philip is going to share any advice and improvement to file taxes during the tax season. Besides mentioning the things a person needs to be careful when handling tax-related situations, he also disclosed his opinion on business loans for small business based on expertise in the accounting field, and whether he would regret being an accountant. As a podcast that is aimed to bring inspiration and assistance for small business owners, we would like them to get a great insight for Tax Season 2020. If you are those who are considering majoring and starting a career in accounting, this should be a great resource for you to understand the industry insight.
February 13, 2020
Ep 6: Ross Pitcoff, Corporate Attorney in New York City and Founded Res Ipsa Marketeur
For every business owner, lawyers play a huge role in helping them to grow. In order to help our small business to have knowledge of the law, we are fortunate to have met and work with Corporate Attorney, Ross Pitcoff. He is the Principal of Ross Pitcoff Law and recently started his business in digital marketing for attorney and law firms called, “Res Ipsa Marketeur”. Ross helped our audience get answers to a few common questions such as “What’s necessary for being a successful lawyer?”, “What’s the key to success for entrepreneurs and small business owners to understand the law?”, “What’s law school life like?” and more. Ross always shared his secret on how to maintain a “No lose” record in his career as an attorney. If you are someone who is considering hiring a corporate attorney or considering practicing business, do not miss out on this episode!
February 7, 2020
Ep 5: David Weild, Chairman & CEO of Weild & Co Talks JOBS Act and Experience at NASDAQ
In our fifth episode, we would like to welcome David Weild- a man that holds so many titles that we don't even know where to start, “Father of the Jobs Act”, “Former Vice Chairman of NASDAQ” and “CEO & Founder of Weild & Co.” Being in the business industry for over 30 years, David has expertise and great vision, and expresses his view on the current landscape for finance and technology. In this episode, hear about his experience in NASDAQ as well as the reasons behind his creation of the JOBS Act. Find out what triggered David to enter the investment banking industry, why he encourages small businesses to borrow capital, and his opinion on owning an Ivy League Degree!
February 3, 2020
Episode 4: Linda Wang, Founder of Ume Willamsburg
In our fourth episode, we would like to welcome Linda Wang, founder of Ume, an authentic yet innovative Japanese restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn NYC. Linda is a proud Brooklyn native who aspired to create her own brand to showcase the world her high-class esthetic on design and food. Surrounded by both Japanese and Chinese culture, Linda decided to combine the 2 cultures and form Ume. The name Ume originated from the meaning of a plum flower in Chinese and Japanese. Like the flower- Ume restaurant will blossom. Starting her first restaurant at the age of 23, Linda shared with our audience regarding her struggle as a young entrepreneur, rejections she faced from banks for loans, and her business mindset for managing a restaurant in one of the most competitive food capitals - New York City. She also shares a great announcement on her new business. Be sure to tune in if you would like to learn more about how the Ume family will blossom!
January 30, 2020
Episode 3: Michael Creadon, Head of Institutional Sales at DrawBridge Lending
In our third episode, we are honored to have one of our closest friends, Michael Creadon. Creadon was the former CEO of Traditum Group for over twenty years. His specialties lie more than in one area. Creadon is also an experienced journalist and has published articles on Bloomberg and Time Magazine. Currently, Michael is working as Head of Institutional Sales at DrawBridge Lending, specializing in initiating loans on a blockchain, and protects borrowers using advanced risk management strategies. Not only does he share his passion and his journey towards cryptocurrency on our podcast, he also revealed some of his tough decisions when he ran a business. Why would one of Michael’s former employees thank him for firing them after two years? What struggles does Michael see on lending among small business owners? Check out our third episode to unveil the truth.
January 23, 2020
Episode 2: Popo Huang, Co-founder of B4Dawn NYC
In our second episode, we have Popo Huang, one of the co-founders of B4Dawn NYC, a successful Asian-American focused event planning company that is famous for hosting various nightlife events. Aside from being a successful marketer and hostess for events, Popo also used to teach grades 6-10 and is going to pursue her doctoral degree in education. As a frequent global traveler for her business, she will share her opinion on the difference between the Chinese market and the American market. If you want to know her story to achieve financial success while working in one of the glamorous industries, don’t forget to check out this episode.
January 18, 2020
Episode 1: Vince Caruso, CEO of FMW Media
On our very first episode, we are honored to have Vince Caruso, CEO of FMW Media Inc, the man behind "NewToTheStreet," and blockchain show "Exploring The Block". FMW media offers a thorough platform to cover IR needs by utilizing traditional media to provide full marketing service for financial solutions. In addition to sharing his story as a successful entrepreneur, he is going to share his views on technology and blockchain in today’s market. If you would like to get inspired from his professional advice be sure to check this out!
January 16, 2020