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The Women Behind Apex Crypto

In the overwhelmingly male-dominated industry of cryptocurrency, gender imbalance is the norm. A mere 15% of Bitcoin traders are women, according to data from eToro. And it’s not just the crypto traders—there are scant few women working in and leading cryptocurrency businesses, too.

That is NOT the case at Apex Crypto, where three women comprise most of the startup’s leadership. Apex Crypto is a PEAK6 company and first-of-its-kind cryptocurrency platform that provides broker-dealers and financial advisors with access to a fast, legal, compliant and effective way to introduce digital currency trading into their clients’ portfolios.

The Women Who Run the Show
  • Lindsay Misiaszek, operations manager, handles the day-to-day operations of the startup business, from legal setup to working with market makers, and monitoring transactions.
  • Colleen Rozanski, director of operations, is the de facto business development lead, responsible for selling, negotiating contracts, and supporting the onboarding of customers.
  • Lan Quach, senior software engineer, built and maintains the Apex Crypto trading platform in Go.

“It’s definitely unusual to have a preponderance of women on our team,” says Colleen. “Everyone that we work with outside of Apex Crypto—our potential clients, our partners, our wallet providers, our banks, it’s all men.” One exception is the female lawyers who helped Apex Crypto establish its legal structure, notes Lindsay.

Sometimes, they say, the temperature of the room lowers because of their involvement in decision-making. At other times, such as during meetings between a vendor or customer and the Apex Crypto team, the women report, the person they’re meeting with speaks only to the men in the room, and the trio have to force their way into the conversation. This isn’t the case, the women note, with Apex Crypto CEO Danny Rosenthal or other team members, who are accustomed to their outsized competence.

No matter who’s in the room, these three are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to making things happen.

Who is Operations Manager Lindsay Misiaszek?

What I Do

I do everything that’s needed but is nontechnical. That includes our legal setup, operations process, hiring, and the day-to-day operations of the business. Things that need to get done daily like cash settlement, monitoring transactions, and working with our auditors. If we’re launching a new coin, I work with our market makers to get all the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted.

Before Apex Crypto

I was the Operations Manager for PEAK6 Capital Management for five years. When this opportunity to launch a cryptocurrency business with regulatory-forward mindset came up, I was excited to try something totally different.

Super Power

I don’t waste a lot of time. I always try to think of most efficient way to do things. I’m never the person who’s going to forget her sunglasses. There are rarely multiple trips; I am a tried-and-true planner at getting something done in one trip.

One Thing I’ve Learned at Apex Crypto

Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. As an ops manager, I want everything to be 100% perfect. But in a start-up, it can’t be. Your resources are limited; they’re needed everywhere. There are a lot of competing demands. Sometimes things must be “good enough.”

Who is Senior Software Engineer Lan Quach?

Right Now

I build and maintain the trading technology behind Apex Crypto.

Before Apex Crypto

I have been with PEAK6 for seven years, first as a software engineer at Apex Clearing, then PEAK6 Capital Management, and then the organization needed another software engineer on the Apex Crypto team. I had experience with the technology Apex Crypto was using at that time, Go, plus Kubernetes and cloud infrastructure, and was interested in cryptocurrency and trading. I raised my hand to join the team.

Super Power

I have two. One is perseverance. I’m good at seeing things through. It’s needed in a start-up environment when there are a lot of unknowns. Owning important aspects of the system ensures that it will come to completion. The second is critical thinking. I use my critical thinking when doing my everyday software engineering tasks and dealing with unexpected production issues. Not everything is figured out before development so I need to actively think ahead and at every step of the engineering process. When handling production problem I think of the best way to solve it fast and make sure to look at the problem from different angles to not miss anything.

One Thing I’ve Learned at Apex Crypto

Start-up success doesn’t come over night. It takes time patience and luck. Knowing that, I have come to be a more patient, more optimistic person.

Who is Director of Operations Colleen Rozanski?

Right Now

While I am director of operations, currently I’m focused on business development. I onboard new clients which includes sales pitches, contract negotiations, and ensuring they are supported while they adopt the new product. I also maintain our current relationships with vendors and customers, and handle HR matters, team development, and finance.

Before Apex Crypto

I was a business analyst at PEAK6 and worked on the newly acquired National Flood Services to ensure a smooth transition away from the former parent company. I also focused on finding ways for NFS to reshape processes and procedures to save money, increase efficiency, or both.

Super Power

Helping reshape behaviors and operations to save money! Finding ways to get everyone to think about expenses and contracts the same is a superpower I have. I am an amazing negotiator. This helps us to ensure that we have the best business terms possible in all our businesses and think smarter about WHY we need things and HOW we do it.

Secret Weapon

I am an 80-percenter. While this absolutely has it downfalls, it allows me to do a really good job on a lot of things at once, but not be fixated on making things perfect before executing. I generally think women have a harder time with speaking up or executing on things before they are 100% sure, so I think this not only helps me multitask on various projects but gives me in edge in many situations.

One Thing I’ve Learned at Apex Crypto

Trust in the power of failure; don’t fear it. Failure at some point is inevitable and you cannot succeed if you never take the chance! There is a lesson to be learned in each failure, and it only makes you stronger.

What Unique Skills Do Women Bring to a Fast-Paced Start-Up Environment Like Apex Crypto?

The women behind Apex Crypto—Lindsay, Lan and Colleen—weigh in.

Adaptability. Working between distressed companies, growth companies and startups requires a constant shift in approach, says Colleen. “Women are able to adapt to various work situations where we may need to think outside of the box, work with various groups of people, and be willing to take different approaches when the first one, two or three tries don’t work!” says Colleen.

The ability to see things from various perspectives. “Women are good at seeing things from different angles, and not jumping to conclusions about a problem or a solution,” says Lan. “This is helpful with problem solving. We’ve had issues to address in which we can look at challenges from a range of perspectives to make sure we see the big picture.”

Patience and persistence in getting to solutions. “We’re used to not just strong arming our way to solutions. We approach things differently to get to completion. If there’s’ a problem, I want to work through the solution, not just be told what the solution is,” says Lindsay.

Willingness to pitch in. Women are good at playing a wide range of roles in a business to get things done. “On the tech side, my responsibilities don’t just include coding, and managing software release and approval. I also work with vendors and sometimes customers to debug any issues,” says Lan.

Relationship-driven leadership styles. Women rely on relationships to get what they need done, and it works. “We mutually help each other get things done,” explains Lindsay. “I think of it like a bank account with the people in my organization. I deposit into my accounts, because I know I’m going to withdraw later from them,” she says.  “I think it results in more longevity with the team, more ownership, and more buy in.”

Want to join our earth-shaking, ground-breaking Crypto team? Apply today.

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