Chris Calise 

Principal, Crown Capital Group Inc

Mr. Calise was a principal at LSC Investors, LLC, which advised The Second City, Inc., Narciso Rodriguez and restructured Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg, the world's third largest auction house. Prior to LSC, he was an associate with Crown Capital Group, Inc.; a private equity investment firm focused on assisting middle-market companies build value over the long term and was one of the founding members of Fresh Direct, LLC. Mr. Calise was also a consultant with the Industrial Products Group at PriceWaterhouse in its Chicago office.Mr. Calise is the founder of the Associates, an organization within the New York Foundling Hospital that mentors and raises money for orphans and children at risk. He is also a member of the board of the Children's Brain Tumor Foundation. Mr. Calise received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Chicago, as well as certifications in insurance and finance.

Jaylyn Hawes


Jaylyn started as a student of Student Finance league from the Kristi house and now teaches and mentors fellow survivors.  Jaylyn is from Miami and through hard work, completing a GED and student finance league program, now teaching students at Camillus House, Miami Rescue Mission and Honey Shine.  While completing the Student Finance League program, she obtained an internship at the Grand Opera and the Miami Tax department before joining the Student Finance League team.  Jaylyn works in the office and on the road helping the cause and sharing her incredible story. She was brave enough to  join Diana in the CBS news story about Student Finance League.  

Amy Salamon

Project Manager- Special needs financial literacy program 
Amy Salamon is an ESE teacher in Broward County Schools. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education from Florida Atlantic University. Amy has taught students with autism spectrum disorder for 25  years and is currently working in the area of transition. The students in her classroom work on employability skills, daily living skills as well as social communication skills.  Amy is a nationally awarded and recognized teacher and spent the 2017/2018 school year altering the currently Student Finance League program to an effective and impactful curriculum for persons with special needs.  Amy works at Atlantic tech in Broward and with CARD (center for autism and related disabilities)  

Eddy Augsten 

WealthEngage Co-Founder, Branch Manager RJFS

Eddy works as a Miami based private wealth management firm and has his Bachelor of Business Administration from Florida International University, a Global Masters in Finance from IE Business School, and holds both the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations.  He spent his career working for large institutional asset managers before going into private practice.  In 2003 Eddy co-founded and developed UltimatEMR, an open-source EMR used across emerging markets to manage patient data and patient/ provider interaction.  Eddy is a founding member of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Miami Chapter and sits on the IMCA Investment and Wealth Monitor Editorial Advisory Board.  He lives in Pinecrest with his wife and four children.

Ryan Welsh

VP, Ocean Bank, 

Mr. Welsh attended Georgia State University majoring in Finance and Sociology. He has over 14 years of banking experience working for financial institutions such as Wachovia and BankUnited. Currently, Mr. Welsh is the Assistant Vice President, Bank Manager at Bank of the Marquis Bank located in Miami, Florida. Mr. Welsh has been a Retail/Commercial Lender for the

last 8 years and is a member of the Wynnwood Business Improvement District’s Finance Committee for the last 2 years.

Mr. Welsh is an advocate for Financial Literacy.

Bill Bymel

MD, Spurs Capital 

Bill Bymel is locally and nationally recognized as a leader in the distressed real estate and mortgage space.  His real estate career began as a broker representative to banks selling foreclosed properties in 2002 and matured into his partnership in a thirty five year old boutique commercial real estate brokerage based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with a focus on site selection, development, and repositioning of nationally known restaurants and retailers as well as identifying strong long term cash flow opportunities for passive investors. In 2008, Mr. Bymel founded RSI Asset Management LLC geared toward investment, mitigation, and disposition of distressed residential mortgages primarily as a third party service to note investors and their servicers. In Mr. Bymel's role as Vice President of Spurs Capital, he currently manages a portfolio of approximately $60 million in mortgage loans and real property and has been involved in the acquisition and liquidation of over $250 Million in real estate since 2011.  Mr Bymal is a published author with his book "Win Win Revolution- Guide to investing in secondary mortgage market"

Diana Thompson

​​CEO/Founder Student Finance League Inc
​Diana created the Student Finance League after seeing a strong need for financial and business education focusing on the language and vocabulary.  Born in Canada, Diana obtained a degree from University of Guelph Humber in Marketing and Advertising at the age of 20 and has lived and worked in 35 countries over the past ten years and work experience include Global head of Marketing for IT company, International Public Relations, Marketing and Sales,  Diana is an active volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club along with launched an elite private members club in London.  Diana created a successful partnership with Formula One and was a finalist in Miss World Canada,  World Fitness Show and Miss Grand Prix. Diana is a member of United nations Association, United Nations Young Professionals, South Florida Trafficking Task Force, New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, Broward Human Trafficking Task Force, Palm Beach Trafficking  Coalition and has been invited by several senators to help pass new Bills related to HT and DV.  

Vinita Tandon

Mother, Special Needs Community Liaison  

Ms.  Tandon  has a  Bachelor’s degree in  Business Administration.  She  is a professional from the field of International  Sales  and  Human Resource Development.  She has extensive experience and  knowledge  in  conducting Training for Employees, Sales Presentations and Seminars,  Budgeting, Trade Shows Management  &  Team Building. Her  vast skills are in  negotiating,  strategic   planning,  Finance  and  Administration.  Ms. Tandon is a board member with Casa Familia Inc., a non-profit. She   also works closely with the  Special  Needs Advisory Board for the City of  Doral to spearhead the efforts of creating more opportunities of learning and growth for all disabilities.  She engages in community development programs with various organizations.

Senen Garcia

Owner, SG Law Group

Mr. Garcia has a Bachelors’ Degree in Business Administration, his Graduate and Juris Doctorate degree.  Mr Garcia operates a thriving law practice assisting clients with their corporate, real estate, property associations, and property insurance claims.  Additionally, Mr. Garcia has served as the Chair for SCORE in Miami-Dade County and is a certified SCORE counselor advising small businesses on various topics to help propel their businesses to the next level.  Mr. Garcia has spoken on a variety of topics such as:  How to start a business,  Seeking financing for a business, and Stock Purchase Agreements vs. Asset Purchase Agreements.

Maurice Berkower

Owner, Berkower LLC
Maurice Berkower has over 35 years of experience providing accounting, auditing, tax and consulting services.  Maurice began his professional career with a New Jersey based regional mid-sized accounting firm and rose to partnership level.  From 1994 to 1998, Maurice served as principal at Rothstein Kass.  His clients include onshore and offshore investment funds, investment advisors and broker-dealers in securities.  Maurice is the lead financial service Partner of Berkower LLC, and Co-Founder and Managing Director of Rankin Berkower (Cayman) Ltd and leads those respective firms’ national and international financial services practice groups.
Maurice has an MBA in Taxation from Bernard Baruch College and a BS in Accounting from Brooklyn College, and is a Certified Public Accountant in the States of New York, New Jersey and California and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants and California Society of CPAs, serves on the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants Investment Companies, Investment Management, Private Equity, and Stock Brokerage Committees. 

Michael Lewitt

CEO, Third Friday Management LLC

Michael has spent the last 25 years in the securities industry and the last 20 years in the investment business. Michael set up Third Friday Management, LLC where he manages The Third Friday Total Return Fund, L.P., an options hedge fund and advises governments and sovereign wealth funds.  He also formed The Credit Strategy Group, a registered investment advisory firm, where he  manages several credit-oriented hedge funds and separate managed accounts for individual and institutions. Since 2001, Michael has  written and published The Credit Strategist, a newsletter that covers economics, politics and the financial markets and that is widely read around the world. Mr. Lewitt was recognized in the Financial Times as having been one of the few investors and strategists to forecast the financial crisis of 2008, and also predicted the credit crisis of 2001-2002.   Michael served as a regular financial columnist for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, and appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, Trusts & Estates and more. He published The Death of Capital:  How Creative Policy Can Restore Stability and The Committee to Destroy The World: Inside the Plot to Unleash a Super Crash on the Global Economy. Mr. Lewitt graduated from Brown University (Magna Cum Laude; Honors in Comparative Literature and History); was a PhD Candidate in Comparative Literature at Yale University; and also graduated from New York University Law School (J.D.; LLM in Taxation).  


About Us

Board of Directors 

Kesi Gibson


Jamaican born entrepreneur, Kesi Gibson grew up in the world of art & fashion. Her formal career has been in the investment banking arena, where she’s worked for the likes of Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan and Veronis Suhler Stevenson (Private Equity). She earned her BA in International Relations & Economics from Mount Holyoke College, and MBA from The Wharton School. Her fashion brand KYU BY KESI which translates to “Progress By Kesi” is a dynamic reflection of Kesi’s personal and professional journey. She is determined to pave dynamic paths to financial success beyond local street corners, for artisans around the globe, and has a social focus bent on eradicating the celebrated phenomena of the “poor struggling artist.” In envisioning the future of fashion and advanced retailing; and driven by her desire to share her platform with other talented designers, artists and entrepreneurs, Kesi created Club Debut. Club Debut is a platform solution that connects brands and creators through experiential events. Club Debut is also an emerging designer’s on-ramp to optimized sourcing of ethical and / or sustainably made raw materials.

About Us

Robert Shemin

CEO, Robert Shemin Worldwide LLC

​Robert graduated from the joint law and MBA degree program at Emory University. After law school worked at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica, and in the investment industry, he worked for Goldman Sachs & Co. in securities sales. Robert is a New York Times best selling author writing “How Come That Idiot’s Rich and I’m Not” and “Secrets of a Millionaire Real Estate Investor” . He has written 15 books in total including “Secrets Of A Millionaire Landlord” and “40 Days to Success in Real Estate Investing”. He has spoken in support of his books to live audiences, and has been interviewed about real estate for three hundred different articles.

Lauren McFadden

Market Leader, BlackRock Asset Management

Lauren works with Independent Financial Professionals in the South Florida area. Lauren joined BlackRock in 2011 and most recently was an iShares Investment Management Consultant working with Financial Advisors in the SouthEastern United States.  Prior to joining BlackRock, Lauren worked as a financial accounting consultant in the Greater Philadelphia area.  Lauren received her B.S. in Finance and International Business from Villanova University and holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation from the Investment Management Consultants Association. Lauren also works with the Boys and Girls Club of Broward County teaching a “Money Matters” class.