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Veronica Manning- The Jubilee Center

by & filed under Be Inspired, People and Places We Love.

Veronica Manning, Executive Director of The Jubilee Center

“I simply love what I do. I’m giving what I didn’t get when I was in elementary and middle school.” Veronica Manning

Veronica- I have never met someone so driven and on the go! Before we start talking about business- what are three things you’d like the people reading this to know about you?

1. I don’t see myself as driven. 2. It’s important to me to allow myself to fail sometimes. 3. Bacon is life.

What’s the best thing about working for a non-profit? And, conversely, what’s the worst?

The best thing is that the work I do has the intent of a positive impact on people’s lives. It centers on people, not profit. The worst part is the constant uncertainty around having the resources needed to be able to do great work.

What would you like people to know about the Jubilee Center that they might not know?

2020 is the 25th anniversary of the Jubilee Center! I think a lot of people don’t realize that the program has existed for that long.

I like to ask everyone- what’s your WHY? What takes gets you into work every day?

I simply love what I do. I’m giving what I didn’t get when I was in elementary and middle school. Every child comes into the world smart and aware..they are natural scientists that examine, evaluate and assess the world around them in every moment of their day. The kind of adults they become is a direct reflection of the kind of adults that nurture them. 

In five years, what does this career path look like? Or is it another?

I have no idea. I live in the Now and stay focused on what’s happening Now. The only question I tend to ask myself is, What Now?

If anyone wants to reach out for more information from you and The Jubilee Center- how would they do that?

The best place to start is our website: www.ascsdc.org

Carrie Gallaway CFP®, YorkBridge Wealth Partners

by & filed under Be Inspired, People and Places We Love.

Carrie Gallaway of YorkBridge Wealth Partners

 “It’s really all about helping people.”– Carrie Gallaway

I met Carrie at a Women Entrepreneurs of Hudson County event and was thrilled to speak with someone who saw the family finances from a female perspective.

Before we get into business- what are 3 things you’d want to share with people reading this about yourself:

1) My husband and I have been Hoboken residents for 20 years
2) I have two fantastic children age 11 and 9
3) I’m the author of the book Your Money, Your Life; a Woman’s Guide to Building Wealth of a Secure Financial Future and Ideal Retirement.

I read that women make up 46 percent of financial services employees but at the executive level, it’s only 15 percent female. What drew you to this industry?

I’ve always loved numbers and math. When applying to colleges I also knew I wanted to do something in finance. I was immediately drawn to the industry when I learned about investments. However, the finance field is very broad, and it was after working for about five years, when I realized that I really liked helping individuals and families with their personal finances. I became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM because I wanted to gain additional tools and knowledge to assist my clients.

What’s the best thing about working outside the house for you? And, conversely, what’s the worst?

The best thing about working outside of the house is helping my clients realize their dreams and create a better life for themselves and their family. Just today, I was able to help a client create a plan and strategy so she can purchase a new house. It is very rewarding to see years of planning and hard work pay off.
The worst thing about working outside of the house, is dealing with the coordination of activities and dinner prep for the family. Sometimes it feels like another part-time job!

I like to ask everyone- what’s your WHY? What takes you away from home and family to do what you do?

I have two “why’s”. The first is the gratification I feel when I am able to help clients meet their goals and simplify their life. I love when someone tells me they aren’t worried anymore or they now feel organized. My second “why” comes from a very personal situation with my own family. Within my own family, I witnessed how unexpected changes in life circumstances can dramatically change one’s financial future, but with the right expert guidance and partnership, one can also persevere and come out of the situation with the ability to meet financial and life goals. Being able to help my extended family through two major life transitions is a great part of what makes me able to empathize with clients, build trust and hear what clients want and need.  It’s really all about helping people.

In five years, what does this career path look like? Or is it another?

There is no other career path for me! I expect to be doing more or less exactly the same thing as I’m doing now. However, I would like to continue to expand the client base and to add a junior financial advisor to the team. Being able to mentor and share my knowledge with younger employees in order to help more people is definitely in the cards.

If anyone wants to reach out for more information from you on planning their financial future- how would they do that?

For more information, please check out: www.yorkbridgewealth.com. I can be reached directly at cgallaway@yorkbridgewealth.com or (212) 574-4076.

You can also follow Yorkbridge on LinkedIn  and on Facebook .

Andrea Rizvi- Boomerang Bites

by & filed under Be Inspired, People and Places We Love.

Andrea Rizvi of Boomerang Bites

I started Boomerang Bites to bring together two passions – baking and social change.“- Andrea Rizvi

Thanks so much for talking to me Andrea. Very “sweet” of you to take the time to speak with me! Before we get into business- what are 3 things you’d want to share with people reading this about yourself:

I have been trained to escape from an inverted, submerged helicopter capsule. (no, really,)

I was born in Australia, spent a large chunk of my childhood in Indonesia, was educated in a British School, but am a die-hard Hobokenite. We moved here the day my oldest son was born 18 years ago (a whole story in itself!) and it’s the longest I have lived anywhere. If you hear someone on the streets of Hoboken with a mixed British/Aussie accent with a complicated New Jersey twang – it’s probably me!

My path to owning/operating a baking business has been far from direct. Many decades ago I started my career as an engineer working on construction sites, oil rigs and in remote aboriginal communities in Australia. I moved to the US and spent the next twenty years working in developing countries to help improve basic water, electricity and transport services. Although an immensely satisfying career, over time I knew I had to find a job that kept me closer to my growing family but where I could still have a positive social impact. Recognizing that the classic not-for-profit model had some serious shortcomings, I instead decided I wanted to start a company in the private sector with a core social mission.

With a full house at home (4 teenaged boys!) – what drew you to begin a business in the hyper-competitive food world. And tell us a bit about the product that started it all.

Boomerang Bites is an artisanal bakery that sells hand crafted, all natural, authentic Australian bite sized treats. We wholesale our bites to select cafes, provide catering services, and sell customized gift boxes online.

I started Boomerang Bites to bring together two passions – baking and social change. The concept for the business originated in response to a void I observed in the baked goods market. As a mum, and frequent coffee shop customer, I was frustrated at the lack of smaller sized flavorful baked goods. Any personal ‘indulgence’ with my coffee, or purchase to appease my children meant investing in a large high calorie muffin or pastry. Even cookies were large! I felt there was a need for something that was rich and indulgent, with a dense flavor packed punch and yet portion controlled and all natural to address the health-conscious mindset. I knew the delicious Australian recipes from my childhood presented a unique solution to this problem and starting baking them at home and cutting them into bite sizes for my sons, their friend and their families. They were an instant hit!

Boomerang Bites was founded in 2017 to spread my passion for the goodness of delicious Aussie treats, but also as a ‘socially conscious’ business that is efficient and profitable, and also at its core gives back to and takes care of local communities in which we work. Out of every dollar profit we earn, we donate at least 20% to local charities selected by consumers and their local cafe owner. (more about this below)

What’s the best thing about working outside the house for you? And, conversely, what’s the worst?

I love my family, but raising four teenage boys in an urban community comes with a certain amount of chaos. Working outside the home gives me the opportunity to escape the whirlwind, focus on business, and recapture some of myself.

The worst? Not sure there is anymore. It was hard when they were younger, but the boys are increasingly self-sufficient, and the advantage of being self-employed is that it gives me the flexibility to adjust my hours to meet their needs and show up at their school and sports events.

I like to ask everyone- what’s your WHY? What takes you away from home and family to do what you do?

Our mission is simple and twofold – Be good, do good. At Boomerang Bites we are passionate about sharing our love of our delicious, all natural, bite-sized, Aussie treats – but great products is only part of what drives us. Boomerang Bites has been built to also do good by giving generously to our people and our communities through fair workplace practices and a generous give back. For every bite we sell we give back at least 20% of profits to causes suggested by our customers. So far, our proceeds have benefited local homeless shelters, animal rescue shelters, after school programs, book programs for low income school children, cancer cure fundraisers and much more! Though we support causes big and small, we are especially passionate about elevating locally-driven initiatives. After decades working in underprivileged communities I have seen first-hand how local people can make a difference and believes in the efficacy of local giving wherever possible, though we exclude no worthwhile cause. Because we believe…. Life is a Boomerang – when you send out goodness and it comes right back.

In five years, what does this career path look like? Or is it another?

I have definitely had enough career paths at this point. I intend this to be my last. Our long term vision at Boomerang Bites is to build a socially responsible and financially sustainable business that improves people’s lives through our products, our practices, and our profits, building our business so that we can increase the scale and scope of our impact.

If anyone wants to reach out for more information on Boomerang Bites how would they do that?

You can find us at www.boomerangbites.com (currently in re-design, but expecting to relaunch a new improved customer experience in next few weeks!). Also follow us on Instagram: @boomerangbites. Or drop us a line at info@boomerangbites.com