How ‘Being Better’ Made Ramona Cedeño a Fit for Finance

Ramona Cedeño, MBA’04 (Metro)


Ramona Cedeño

Ramona Cedeño (Photo: Bill Cardoni)

By Julie Kayzerman

As a child, Ramona Cedeño, MBA’04 (Metro), had to travel a long distance on a public city bus to get to school. She grew up with no electricity, her family’s home lit by kerosene.

“Every day I feel very proud,” Cedeño says. “I grew up in the countryside [in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic] … and somehow made it all the way here. I wasn’t given anything. I worked really hard. I feel very proud to be a Latina woman, to be a business owner and to be respected for it.”

Cedeño is the founder and CEO of FiBrick, an accounting firm headquartered in New York that offers specialized financial management and services to businesses.

She’s also a newly elected member of the New York State Society of CPAs Executive Committee of the Board of Directors and was featured in Bloomberg as a powerful Latina emerging in the U.S. job market.

Cedeño, now a mom of three, attended MBA classes at FDU while working and caring for her first baby, taking full advantage of the program’s flexible Saturday and evening class schedules.

“The professors were just amazing. I never had a bad experience with any of them, and they were just so much fun,” she says, remembering her classes with Professor of Management Scott Behson and former adjunct instructor Eli Amdur, BA’68 (Ruth), especially fondly.

“I followed my need to learn — it was just in me. I think I just always needed to push myself to be better,” Cedeño says.

Cedeño immigrated to the United States at age 19 with her mother, temporarily leaving her three younger sisters behind in the Dominican Republic.

As the eldest daughter, Cedeño was responsible for helping save enough money to bring her sisters to America. She found employment at a discount store near Penn Station in New York City and then at a shoe store in the Bronx. Seven months later, the family was reunited.

“I never would have thought that I would own an accounting firm and do sales and marketing for it,” she says.

Her advice: “Don’t stress over what you’re going to do with a degree, just finish it. Then figure out later how you will put it to use.”

Initially, Cedeño thought she’d simply spend her workdays solely crunching numbers. And her experience and education did land her accounting jobs with top firms like Time, Inc. and Geller and Company LLC in New York City.

But after having her second child, Cedeño decided on a change of pace. At first she thought she’d look for something less demanding, but instead she decided to start her own business.

“If you’re going to do something, you must do it well,” she says.

Since its inception in 2015, FiBrick Financial has grown to employ five people and offer consulting services to more than 130 clients, primarily in the tech industry.

“Things happen when they’re meant to happen,” she says. “I have worked really hard to be where I am, and I don’t take anything for granted. I’m just proud of what I have done.”

Cedeño begins each day with three short prayers and meditates for five-to-10 minutes before enjoying a cup of coffee.

To relax, Cedeño watches investigative TV dramas, including “Law and Order: SVU,” “Blue Bloods,” “Monk,” “Boston Legal” and “24.” She mixes in some more light-hearted shows, too, with “Heartland,” “Good Witch” and “New Girl.”

Cedeño’s most precious possessions — beyond her memories — are the mementos, notes and gifts she’s kept from her two children and her family.

A curious mindset can spark all kinds of new experiences and knowledge. Cedeño is a curious person and believes deeply in always trying to learn new things.