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Make Smarter Decisions with Your Money

A Virtual Experience Presented by cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer
Navigating finances can be a stressful task. The mission of Navigating Finances presented by cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer is to provide our Northeast Ohio community with expert insights, providing the tools necessary to confidently create your path to financial freedom. The freedom to do the things you truly want to do – retire with dignity, spend free time with family, purchase a home.

FREE and open to the public

Tuesday, May 25, 2021, virtual event

Main Event: 4:30 – 6:00 pm
Expert Sessions: Immediately following the main event

MODERATOR

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Rich Exner

Rich Exner writes That’s Rich!, the personal finance column that appears on cleveland.com and in The Plain Dealer. The column focuses on simplifying complex financial issues to make decision-making easier for readers. He also writes about data on all topics, from taxes and weather to sports and home sales. Rich joined The Plain Dealer in 1991.

FEATURED SPEAKERS

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Bernie Kosar

Bernie Kosar is a former NFL quarterback who played for the Cleveland Browns from 1985 to 1993 and then finished his career with the Miami Dolphins and the Dallas Cowboys, where he won a Super Bowl. Nowadays you can find Bernie co-hosting the Browns Daily Show with the Cleveland Browns, The Really Big Show and his own podcast, Bernie’s World, with ESPN Cleveland.

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Brandon Edwin Chrostowski

Brandon Edwin Chrostowski is on a mission to change the face of re-entry in the United States. In 2007, he founded EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute with the belief that “education wins” and that every human being – regardless of their past – has the right to a fair and equal future.

Brandon E. Chrostowski

Brandon Edwin Chrostowski is on a mission to change the face of re-entry in the United States. In 2007, he founded EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute with the belief that “education wins” and that every human being – regardless of their past – has the right to a fair and equal future. Under Chrostowski’s stewardship, EDWINS has grown to include culinary education and life skills training at its flagship French eatery; a Butcher Shop and Bakery and Diner; a nearby Second Chance Life Skills Center campus for additional learning, housing, and support services; an on-site program at Grafton Correctional Institute and curriculum for inmates at all Ohio state prisons.

A classically trained chef and sommelier, Chrostowski honed his skills at fine dining establishments in Paris, New York, and Chicago, including Lucas Carton, Chanterelle, Picholine, Le Cirque and Charlie Trotter’s. Recognition of his culinary and mission-driven efforts include IFMA’s 2020 Silver Plate, CNN 2016 Heroes and Crain’s “40 under 40” awards; being featured as the subject of the Academy Award nominated documentary Knife Skills; and The Richard C. Cornuelle Award from the Manhattan Institute for Social Entrepreneurship. Chrostowski earned an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts and a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Restaurant Management from The Culinary Institute of America. He resides in Cleveland with his wife Catana and their three children.

PANELISTS

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Melissa B. Smith

Melissa B. Smith serves as the Vice President of Liberty Home Mortgage, one of the fastest-growing mortgage lenders in the United States.

Melissa B. Smith

Melissa B. Smith serves as the Vice President of Liberty Home Mortgage, one of the fastest-growing mortgage lenders in the United States. Melissa began her professional career working for the U. S. Army where she learned key leadership skills that have helped to elevate her, in her career.

Melissa works diligently in setting up the strategic direction for her company and believes that ingenuity, communication, and teamwork are all keys to success. While focusing on providing an excellent customer experience, Melissa strives to exceed her colleague’s expectations and to earn their respect.

Melissa resides in Seville, Ohio with her husband Avery, and their seven children. In her free time, she enjoys doing home improvement projects with her husband.

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Brian Cantrall

Brian Cantrall is Realtor / Vice President of Chestnut Hill Realty Inc. Out of college Brian began his career as a design engineer.

Brian Cantrall

Brian Cantrall is Realtor / Vice President of Chestnut Hill Realty Inc. Out of college Brian began his career as a design engineer and can offer that designer’s eye to his clients before they make decisions on renovations or what home to purchase. Brian doesn’t consider himself just a Realtor–he’s a real estate advisor; one who builds trust first, versus telling clients to work with him on blind faith. He’s a responsible fiduciary who works in his client’s best interests even if it means he won’t earn a commission. Brian recognizes that real estate is not always the most transparent business. He has always worked diligently to ensure that his clients aren’t blindsided by any part of the real estate transaction or pressured into making a decision that doesn’t feel in their best interests. With 12 years in the business, Brian has developed a portfolio of experience working with Buyers, Sellers, land deals, and new construction.

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Greg Perelka

Greg Perelka is the Executive Vice President of Lending for CHN Housing Capital, the lending arm of CHN Housing Partners.

Greg Perelka

Greg Perelka is the Executive Vice President of Lending for CHN Housing Capital, the lending arm of CHN Housing Partners. Greg has over 30 years of success across the banking and financial services industries. Throughout his career, Greg has held various sales and operational leadership roles while successfully building channels, effectively improving processes and providing strategic direction to drive revenue, increase profitability, and support sustainable growth for NewRez LLC, Freedom Mortgage Corp., New York Community Bank, Ohio Savings Bank and Citizens Financial.  Greg graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Cedarville University and holds an MBA through the University of Phoenix.

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Drew Martin

Drew Martin is Executive Vice President and Market Manager for the Northern Ohio Retail Branch team at PNC Bank.

Drew Martin

Drew Martin is Executive Vice President and Market Manager for the Northern Ohio Retail Branch team at PNC. Drew joined PNC through its acquisition of National City Corporation in December 2008. Since joining the organization, he has served in a variety of capacities, including Branch Manager, Regional Manager (District Sales Executive), Sales and Service Manager and his present role as Market Manager of Northern Ohio. Drew lives in Akron with his wife and their three boys.

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Walter Morris

Walter Morris is a Financial Services Manager for Community Financial Centers.

Walter Morris

Walter Morris is a Financial Services Manager for Community Financial Centers. Walter provides solid knowledge on how you can improve your life by planning and managing your money in the best way that suits your individual situation.

Walter has over 20 years of experience in banking and finance. His experience as an Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) allows him to identify underlying issues in a person’s life that are much larger than an overdrawn bank account or a subprime credit score.

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Bryan Bibbo, AIF, NSSA

Primary Role: Financial Coach and Accredited Investment Fiduciary

Bryan Bibbo, AIF, NSSA

Lead Advisor | Accredited Investment Fiduciary | National Social Security Advisor

Primary Role: Financial Coach and Accredited Investment Fiduciary

Bryan Bibbo is a leading retirement planning professional who assists with estate and financial income planning. Bryan has been educating Northeast Ohio residents on personal finance and retirement planning strategies for many years. He works with successful professionals, business owners, and retirees who are concerned with building and maintaining financial security for themselves and their families. Bryan provides comprehensive financial planning strategies to help individuals achieve total wealth optimization and a reliable income source in retirement. He ensures every client feels confident, at ease, and content about their financial future. Bryan holds the following licenses: Life and Health Insurance, Series 65, and the Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) with the Internal Revenue Service. When not helping his clients, he loves spending time with his wife Amanda, daughter Athena, and the newest addition to his family, his son Achilles. Together they meticulously collect vintage monies, artifacts, and collectibles. Bryan also enjoys cooking, living on the lake, and reading.

What to Expect

Main Event: 4:30 – 6:00 pm

Free to attend

  • Expert panel discussions on various investment and finance topics
    Panel 1: ‘Plan & Develop – How to reach Financial Freedom’
    Panel 2: ‘Make your dreams a reality’
  • Live Q&A
  • Keynote by local financial insider(s)
  • Moderated by cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer’s, Rich Exner

Expert Sessions: Immediately following the main event

  • Small group discussions with the event speakers and other financial experts
  • More than five different topics and sessions to choose from
  • Attendees can participate in the discussions of their choice
  • Opportunity to engage directly. Get in-depth information on various financial topics.

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors

Gold Level Sponsors

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Supporting Level Sponsors

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