Born and raised in the Throggs Neck/Pelham Bay area, John Cerini is proud to operate two businesses in his community.
Cerini, who works seven days a week, runs Bronx Tax Man and Capital Shield Agency at 3600 East Tremont. While crunching numbers is stressful, 25 years ago Cerini decided to put more on his plate and became a licensed insurance agent.
The father, husband, business owner and civic leader reflected on his success.
“I know that I’m providing a good service to all of my customers,” he explained. “I still can’t believe I’m in business for 25 years. Thank God my father suggested it because today I love insurance.”
Cerini, 51, began working with his dad Natali as a teenager. Natali was an accountant on Arthur Ave. and would take his son to people’s home when he did their taxes.
“At first it was boring and a little frustrating because I was a kid and I wanted to hang out with my friends,” he explained. “But the older I got the more I got respect for what my dad did.”
When he graduated high school Cerini knew he was going to follow in his dad’s footsteps. Not only did he have the accounting firm, but dabbled in other jobs such as driving the Mr. Softee truck, painting and owning a restaurant.
His dad was his best friend and taught him the value of work ethic.
“I am very proud of what he accomplished,” Cerini said.
After college Cerini worked as an accountant for a few years at St. Barnabas, but soon opened his office Throggs Neck. He was enjoying life and business was doing well.
However, his dad suggested he expand and sell insurance. While Cerini knew nothing about that industry, he took a leap of faith and became a licensed insurance agent.
According to Cerini, it was not easy in the beginning. It took three years to find a company whose product he could sell.
“Every time I got a business it was a teary moment,” he recalled.
Cerini explained that while people do not enjoy paying for insurance or taxes, both are necessities in life. He noted that insurance isn’t just about money, but rather the right coverage.
“If I’m doing someone’s taxes and helping them save money, it’s a great feeling,” he commented.
Cerini would be remiss if he didn’t thank his wife Grace, who works with him and his staff, for their support.
From coaching his kids’ soccer teams and being a past president of the Throggs Neck Merchant Association, he never has a dull moment.
“I work way too much,” he stressed. “My wife is a saint for putting up with me.”