Ken Damato is the COO of Diversified Lighting and CEO of Midawi Holdings Inc. (MHI) dba DoughMain, which he founded in 2009 to help families get organized and learn about money and money management. Prior to founding MHI, Mr. Damato was a Managing Director for Intrepid Capital Partners, where he set and drove the strategic direction of several portfolio companies and pursued investment opportunities alongside the board of directors. He has also held executive positions with the Tyden Group (a holding company of the Crimson Investment Team), American Standard, and GE Lighting. Mr. Damato graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and Business Administration.
Steven Bergida currently serves as the Director of Trading for CFT Securities, LLC. Prior to joining CFT, he worked as a Managing Director and Head Trader for Quellos Brokerage Services, LLC. Mr. Bergida has 28 years of experience trading global equities, fixed income, currencies, futures, listed options, and structured derivatives. He has served as a Managing Director at ING Furman Selz Asset Management, where he has also acted as the Head Trader for the Asset Management Group. He started his career as a Proprietary Trader on the Arbitrage desk at Furman Selz. Mr. Bergida graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor Degree in Finance. He resides in Montgomery Township, NJ with his wife Elaine and their two children.
As an accomplished software developer with a master’s degree in Sciences, Sonali didn’t originally plan to launch a local marketing company. However, one thing she realized early in her career was that she was good at working with people and built the 'know, like & trust" foundation.
So, she decided to switch gears and focus on what she was more passionate about – people and small businesses. She learned the technical side of marketing and found there was a greater need on the strategic side, especially for small, local businesses that depend on attracting customers from a very small geographic area.
Sonali warned a Certificate of Marketing Strategy, & Digital Marketing from Cornell University and founded InsiderTrendz in 2015. She applies all the skills that she learned in software development, which combines extensive research, reliable processes, and ongoing testing with a heavy dose of innovation and creative thinking.
Matthew Allan is a real estate broker, developer, and founder of the Moves With a Purpose, a Savannah, Georgia real estate team which seeks to build its local community by contributing 10% of its commissions to Savannah-area non-profits. Focusing on historic downtown Savannah for nearly a decade, Matthew specializes in historically appropriate infill construction, as well as large-scale renovation projects.
Matthew holds a B.S. in Communications from Boston University and an MBA from Pepperdine University. He lives in downtown Savannah with his wife, two children, and three rescued dogs.
Andrea Catsimatidis serves as an executive at the Red Apple Group, one of the largest privately held companies in the United States. This family owned company has widespread involvement in multiple industries including: energy, real estate, finance, insurance, supermarkets and aviation. Ms. Catsimatidis graduated from New York University’s Stern School of Business with a B.S. in Business Management, as well as, double minors in Political Science and Communications. During her years at Stern School of Business, Ms. Catsimatidis was named as one of the 15 most influential students at NYU. Ms. Catsimatidis currently resides in New York City where she participates philanthropically by supporting charities such as the Police Athletic League and the Alzheimer’s Association, among others.
Scott is currently a strategy consultant at a professional services firm, where he specializes in the strategy development for large finance transformations and M&A.
Previously, Scott was the Director of Corporate Development and Strategy at Centurion Holdings, where he collaborated with the CFO on corporate projects, including FP&A, M&A, and divestitures. Scott also assisted in investor relations during capital raising initiatives.
Scott completed his MBA at the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School in Chapel Hill. Prior to business school, Scott was the Director of Finance at a startup in the horse racing and gaming industry. Scott owned financial responsibilities of the operation, including annual budgeting, cash flow management, financial reporting and analysis, and investor relations.
CAROL ANN FERNANDEZ
As co-COO and head of Retirement Plans for Glen Eagle, Carol Ann Fernandez is responsible for overseeing the firm’s corporate retirement plan business including 401ks, SEP and SIMPLE plans. She also oversees the generation of financial plans for the firm’s individual clients.
Prior to joining Glen Eagle, Carol Ann was responsible for strategic planning for the Global Capital Markets Group at M&T Bank in New York City. Carol Ann started her career in financial services in the Wealth Management Group at Merrill Lynch.
Carol Ann also served on the National Board of Women in Insurance and Financial Services (WIFS) and the University of Notre Dame Monogram Board.
Carol Ann graduated from Notre Dame University with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. While an undergraduate at Notre Dame, she was a varsity rower. During her four years, Notre Dame won the BIG EAST title all four years. As a senior, she served as a captain and earned first-team All-BIG EAST honors.
Carol Ann also earned an MBA from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.
Rob Michel is co-COO of Glen Eagle, a financial services company headquartered in Kingston NJ. As COO Rob is responsible for operations, technology, and new business initiatives.
Prior to joining Glen Eagle, Rob worked in the Investment Banking Division at Morgan Stanley in New York City. While working in investment banking Rob was also the President of the Fresh Air Fund at Morgan Stanley, which focused on providing financial education to middle school and high school students in the city.
Rob earned a bachelor of arts in both economics and political science from Yale University in addition to later attending the University of Pennsylvania’s Business School Wharton for his MBA.
Maria Passannante-Derr is a practicing attorney and real estate investor in Manhattan. She grew up in Greenwich Village in an extended family that has been active in local business, philanthropy and politics for three generations. Ms. Passannante-Derr continues her family tradition of community service as an eleven year member of her local Community Board consisting of a group of fifty persons who are appointed by the elected officials to advise them on various grass roots issues. Recognizing her business savvy, leadership skills and commitment to balancing preservation and development she was elected position of Chair. Under her leadership, she urged and supported reforms to make the Board not only fiscally responsible but open and responsive to the Community’s needs. Ms. Passannante-Derr was a founding member of the revitalized Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce and was recently honored by Village Care of New York for her “community activism”. She holds a J.D. from New York Law School and a MPA from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and is admitted to practice in the New York State and Federal bars.
STEVEN D. FELGRAN, PhD
Dr. Steven Felgran is an economist and Co-Director of the North American Transfer Pricing Practice of AlixPartners, LLP in New York, NY. Previously, Steve was a partner with the Economic and Valuation Services practice of KPMG, LLP. Steve has extensive experience in economic analysis and controversy support. Steve has been an expert witness in court and has provided expert analysis before IRS Appeals Panels and Competent Authorities in numerous cases. Prior to KPMG, Steve taught at Northeastern University’s College of Business Administration in Boston, and was an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He is a member of several professional and academic organizations such as the American Economic Association, the National Association for Business Economics, the American Bar Association, and the International Fiscal Association. Steve earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University and his B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Steve resides in Westchester, NY with his wife, Hilary, and their two children.
JOSEPH "JAY" McCANN
Jay McCann received his B.A. in History from Caldwell University in 1992 and is currently employed as a Specification Sales Manager for Philips Lighting of North America in Somerset, NJ. Jay previously spent 16 years with the Lighting division of General Electric in various sales roles. A strong advocate for public education, he served on the Caldwell/West Caldwell, NJ Board of Education from 2004-2010. Jay chaired the curriculum and budget committees from 2004-2008. Jay was elected President of the Board by his fellow Board members and served in that capacity from 2008-2010. He was instrumental in the passage of a $16.5 million dollar bond referendum, which balanced the infrastructure as well as the technological needs of the district in 2007. He has received many professional awards throughout the course of his career. Jay resides in Caldwell, NJ with his wife, Karen, and their three children.
Michael Wakatama is the Regional Director: Business Development & Partnership for Every Kid Sports. Michael is a native of Zimbabwe, dedicated father and accomplished professional and Entrepreneur serving nonprofit and youth & professional athletes. Michael is one of the most personable, thoughtful and sincere individuals you will ever meet. In his professional capacity he has served as Director of Corporate Sales for Dome Audio, Vice President of Sales for the NFL Alumni-Philadelphia Chapter and Strategic Outreach Coordinator in recent positions. Michaels Educational pursuits include Global Sports Management at New York University, Bachelor of Business Administration at Worcester State College and St. Georges College, Harare, Zimbabwe. Michael looks to create positive impacts with every community he is involved with.
Kathy Hurley is a 40+ year veteran of the education industry and advocate supporting the vision of global education for all. She possesses a wealth of knowledge and expertise in publishing, technology, education policy, sales, marketing and business development, all of which have propelled her through her career with top businesses and foundations. Kathy has held a number of prestigious positions, most recently Executive Vice President Education Alliances, for the Pearson Foundation. Previously she served in executive positions in both publishing and technology companies, including Pearson and IBM. In addition to her widespread involvement, Kathy currently serves on numerous key industry and education advisory boards, while holding leadership roles in many. Kathy is a highly decorated and sought after speaker, offering new and innovative approaches to education while targeting both national and international audiences, thus maintaining her global commitment to education. She holds a number of noteworthy accolades, and in 2013, Kathy was selected as a Fellow of the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University for 2014. She plans to continue her work by co-founding a non-profit organization entitled Girls Thinking Global. Kathy holds a B.A. degree in Special Education from the University of Dayton and a Master’s degree in Education from Jersey City State College. Kathy is married and resides in Arlington, Virginia.
Mr. Rogerson is a managing director with BNY Mellon Wealth Management. He has spent more than 25 years teaching clients about family issues concerning wealth and financial planning. Tom has worked with top U.S. law, accounting, insurance, and investment firms educating, motivating, and training their employees, prospects, and clients on family issues around wealth and how to integrate it into their financial planning. He has been invited to speak at numerous family meetings for some of the wealthiest families in the country.
DERBY O. CHUKWUDI
Derby Ozioma Chukwudi is an Analyst with J.P. Morgan Private Bank, focusing primarily on the New Jersey and New York Metro area. Derby works alongside a team responsible for advising ultra-high net worth individuals, families, and foundations on a range of wealth management matters including asset allocation and investment portfolio
construction, lending, and wealth transfer planning. Derby joined J.P. Morgan in 2018 as a Summer Analyst and returned full-time in 2019 after graduating with her undergraduate degrees.
Derby graduated cum laude from Berea College with a BSc. Degree in Business Administration and B.A. degree in Economics. She holds SIE, Series 7, and 63 FINRA licenses.
At the firm, she holds several leadership positions. Derby is the first analyst to represent the New Jersey Private Bank on the Global Analyst Council. She is also the Vice President of Membership and Treasurer for the J. P. Morgan Midtown NYC Toastmasters International Public Speaking Club. In 2020, she competed in the Table Topics Contest and made it to the District Level in NYC. She currently placed 3rd at Districts Contests for the 2021 Toastmasters International Speech Contest.
She serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Scholars In Our Society And Africa
(S.O.S.A), which focuses on promoting educational equity in West Africa. Derby is passionate about advocating for financial literacy among young people in order to prepare them for a future of financial freedom and choices. Derby is Miss New Jersey USA 2023
Pete Hand is a director and equity research analyst at BlackRock responsible for coverage of the consumer discretionary sector for the Global Allocation Fund. Prior to BlackRock, he held similar roles with other global investment managers including Invesco and Aberdeen Asset Management. He is a CFA Charter holder.
A native of Princeton, NJ, Pete earned an AB in economics from Princeton University where he was also a member of the swim team. While he escaped Princeton for about a decade after college, Pete is once again a Princetonian alongside his wife Allison and their daughter.
Sam Kaufman began his career in the life insurance industry in 1968, and in 1973, he founded Agent Support Group (ASG), a life insurance brokerage agency. For over 42 years, Sam has worked to build ASG into one of the first true multi-company agencies in New York. His focus on providing value-added services, as well as insisting that ASG become a leader in technology, allowed the company to grow, becoming a powerhouse and one of the largest independent life operations in the Northeast.
Now, the man who gave brokers their first computerized sales illustrations (Sam was one of the first in New York to even own a computer), pioneered the ASG Mobile App, allowing life agents the ability to do business anywhere and access the latest information in the palm of their hand. Sam has played an important role in product development and marketing and has lectured before the New York Chapter of NAIFA and the Society of Financial Service Professionals. He is a member of NAILBA and has won numerous industry and carrier awards including a lifetime achievement recognition.
Sam graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Business Administration and Management. He is an established cabaret singer, having performed over the years at such venues as the Copacabana, Birdland and others. He and his band have been featured in two full-length CD’s and performed for charitable benefits on numerous live television and radio telethon broadcasts.
Glenn Adamo currently serves as the President of Ivanhoe Media and Entertainment, an independent consulting business focused on all aspects of media creation, strategy, production and delivery. Glenn has 35+ years of experience in media, technology, broadcasting and entertainment. He served as VP of Media Operations at NFL Films, VP Broadcasting and Community Development for the Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils, and Group VP of Broadcasting & founder of NHL Productions. Prior to that, he spent 15 years with NBC Sports where he worked on the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and was responsible for staffing, production, programming and creative execution of more than 140 hours of Olympic hockey coverage on the CNBC, MSNBC and NBC networks. Glenn has won six Sports Emmys for his work on 1980 World Series, 1980 Wimbledon, the 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympics, 2002 Winter Olympics, and in 2011 he received the Chairman’s Award for Excellence by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his work as Executive Producer of the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 with Robert DeNiro. This honor marked the first time in the history of the Emmy Awards that a sports league was given the prestigious Chairman’s award. Glenn is a 1977 graduate of the University of Connecticut where he majored in sports physiology and physical education while playing varsity ice hockey. Glenn has been married to his wife, Valerie, for 37 years, and they have two children. He resides in Manalapan, NJ.