Leadership Team

Jon Levitt
Chief Executive Officer

Focus: Co-steering the direction of the company while applying a hands-on approach to Federated’s sales and marketing initiatives in the U.S. and Canada.

Background: Jon became CEO of Federated in 2003 when he and John Guirguis joined their two companies together. Inspired by a friend’s significant success, Jon launched an ISO organization affiliated with EVO Merchant Services. Jon’s natural sales ability became obvious quickly closing over 1,000 merchants within his first six months in the business.

Not your typical CEO, Jon applies his concentration on guaranteeing merchant satisfaction by verifying the accuracy of each application received and ensuring that Federated’s customers attain the best pricing as well as helping the sales teams close deals, talking to merchants, and supporting sales and marketing functions. Prior to entering this industry, Jon managed in his family’s lucrative Century 21 multi-office real estate business for 15 years where he continued to sharpen his sales abilities.

An Oceanside, NY native and father of four, Jon has strong family values and great sense of social responsibility within his community. He is an avid fisherman mooring his 47’ sport fishing boat at Montauk, Long Island year round. Jon is also a hunting enthusiast and a collector of classic automobiles.

John Guirguis

Focus: Overseeing Federated’s Operation divisions to optimize growth and ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction

Background: With over 15 years industry experience, John Guirguis, Federated Payments’ founder and president, is highly knowledgeable in all aspects of card processing and related merchant services. Since joining forces in 2003 with Jon Levitt (who directs the organization’s sales and marketing efforts), John currently focuses on overseeing Federated’s operations side of the business. These departments are comprised of the company’s customer support and back end functions including underwriting, risk management, deployment, technology and finance. A Long Island native, John was instrumental in growing the company to its current extended network of over 400 personnel.

Evan Schweitzer
Chief Financial Officer

Focus: Projecting the future, recording the past and aiding in our business’s growth.

Background: Evan has spent the last 20 years aiding the growth of mid-sized companies and taking them to the next level. He is an expert in all things financial and works with the management team, ISO’s, and sales representatives to focus their efforts of profitable strategic growth initiatives. Prior to joining Federated Payments, Evan worked for Lipman Electronic Engineering (now VeriFone) and its global affiliates as Chief Financial Officer of Lipman USA, Lipman Canada and Lipman Latin America. Evan has extensive public accounting experience having worked at Ernst and Young and Grant Thornton with a variety of clients. Evan has extensive experience in the Canadian marketplate.  He is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York and received his Bachelor of Accountancy from The George Washington University. When not directing Federated’s finance and human resources departments, Evan enjoys the grueling sport of mountain biking.

Scott Avery
Senior Vice President of Sales

Focus: Driving revenue by overseeing and mentoring Federated’s 400+ sales professionals in North America

Background: A seasoned sales professional with over 25 years’ experience, Scott is heavily involved in the day-to-day management and training of all sales representatives as well as customer relations. Scott joined Federated Payments in 2003 as an account executive, moving up quickly through the ranks to National Sales Manager and ultimately SVP of Sales for the US and Canada. Before joining Federated, Scott worked with Anytime Labor and Staffing in Houston where he was also part owner of another staffing firm. Prior to that position, Scott was with Labor Ready where, as District Manager, helped the company grow from 54 locations to over 800 and personally covered 17 locations in multiple states. Since Scott began his sales career with Coca Cola, he has won numerous sales achievement awards including several Presidents’ awards for outstanding accomplishments. On his off time, Scott enjoys fishing and still takes on the competition as a mixed martial arts enthusiast and amateur Texas hold ‘em champion. Despite his demanding schedule, Scott is a devoted father who spends as much time as possible with his two daughters.

Jim Perri
Vice President of Operations

Focus: Providing direction and guiding the operational activities of the organization to optimize growth and profitability.

Background: Since joining Federated in 2004, Jim has used a hands-on approach to quickly develop an expertise in the many operational areas of the organization. It’s this broad scope of knowledge which allows him to develop unique strategies and policies for the various departments within Operations to achieve organizational goals. Prior to joining Federated, Jim has had over 20 years experience in customer service and operations management. Focused primarily in the Banking and Finance sectors, he has always maintained a customer centric approach as the basis for true organizational success.

Greg Slote
Vice President Marketing & Corporate Communications

Focus: Developing strategic initiatives to drive new business and enhance our customer’s online experience; corporate branding and public relations

Background: An expert in all facets of online and traditional marketing, Greg has spent the past 20 years growing enterprises through innovative marketing and branding strategies within the financial services, technology, manufacturing and media industries. Prior to joining Federated Payments, Greg served as Marketing Director for a host of leading companies including GE, CMP Media, DealerTrack and Ziff Publishing. Greg received his BS in Business Education from New York University. During off hours, Greg enjoys spending time with his family, playing guitar and piano, holds a black belt in Karate and is a semi-professional foosball player.

Joanne D’Aprile
Director of Sales Support

Focus: Ensuring the sales teams have the highest quality support available to help them augment revenue and optimize customer satisfaction

Background: With over 20 years experience in the processing industry, Joanne is highly proficient in directing all areas of sales support including commissions, application training, and cash advance administration while managing Federated’s sales support team. Prior to joining the company, Joanne held various Operational positions at First Data Merchant Services. It’s this experience that helped her transition smoothly into the area of sales support where she applies her industry knowledge to the day-to-day work flow. With Federated since 2004, Joanne and her group support both the US and Canadian sales forces in achieving their sales and revenue goals. Joanne has completed a series of higher level business management courses and achieved a host of related certifications. When not at Federated, she enjoys gourmet cooking, candle making and motorcycling with her family.

Joanne Vassallo
Director of New Accounts / Business Office Manager

Focus: Directs the efficient and timely processing of all new merchant applications throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as managing our facilities and structural operations.

Background: Joanne has been with Federated Payments since 2003 and has served in a variety of management roles which provides her with a unique point of view of the company and the industry. Prior to joining Federated Payments, Joanne possessed an impressive background with over 20 years of managerial experience within various industries including bankcard services, automotive leasing and cellular. On a personal note, Joanne is a knowledgeable wine connoisseur and is often called upon for her expertise for those special occasions.

Richard Placa
Manager of Underwriting and Risk Management

Focus: Underwriting and boarding new accounts while managing portfolio risk exposure

Background: Rich has over 8 years experience supporting revenue growth by minimizing losses and approving new business in creative ways weighing the risk versus reward factors. He provides leadership within his department creating and implementing re-engineered risk management policies while creating procedures to work with merchants to maximize their processing while protecting Federated Payments. Prior to joining Federated Payments, Rich served as a Manager of Risk Management for First Data Corporation. Rich received his BA from New York University.

Darrell Peppers
Manager of Customer Care

Focus: Managing Federated’s technical support, risk and customer care functions.

Background: Darrell joined Federated Payments in 2000 at the early beginnings of the company as Director of Operations. Born on the west coast in Washington state, Darrell moved to Tulsa, OK where he got his first experience in financial services working for Direct Merchants Bank. After moving to NY in 1998, he gained entry into the processing industry working as a customer support rep for Card Payment Systems and The Bart Group before joining Federated. Darrell took a hiatus from Federated to cofound an ISO organization and returned to his current role in 2009 where he is well versed in all facets of processing operations. Darrell graduated Oral Roberts University in 1992 with a major in biology and minor in chemistry.

Jeff Zervos
Product Support & Technical Services Manager

Focus: Providing expert knowledge of POS processing systems to the merchant support and sales staff; main point of contact for all complex product support and technical issues.

Background: Over a span of 12 years, Jeff has experienced the technical aspect of the credit card industry from three sides of the business. Starting with Citi Corp. in 1989, known today as FDMS, he moved quickly into the position of Product Certifications & Programming Analyst. Next, he joined the creators of the Nurit line of credit card terminals & ATM kiosks, Lipman USA, where he spent over 4 years as a Quality Assurance & Certifications Specialist for the company’s entire line of POS equipment. Jeff brought his knowledge of POS systems and technical expertise to Federated Payments where he has spent the last 6 years building his knowledge base in an ever changing and increasingly complex industry.

Gunter Whetstone
Director of Corporate Training

Focus: Recruiting, training, and educating new sales executives and preparing them for success in the field.

Background: Gunter is primarily responsible for training new account executives from all over the U.S. and Canada. He first joined Federated Payments in 2005 as an outside account executive at our sales office in his home state of Alabama. Within a year, he moved to corporate headquarters in NY where he was promoted to Regional Sales Manager. Gunter moved again to Federated’s Canadian sales office where he was named as Director of Corporate Sales Canada in 2008. He holds a Bachelors degree in Marketing from Troy University in Alabama. In his off time, Gunter is an avid Mustang enthusiast, cheers on the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, and plays drums and guitar.