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Liftoff Journeys Podcast Ep 8: From Russia with Love – Startups, Spies, and Kindness – Sergei Kopelev

Today’s LiftOff podcast guest is Sergio Kopelev, VP of Engagement Management at Stroz Friedberg. A cybercrime and digital forensics company. Sergio was born in Moscow and emigrated to the US as a Jewish refugee with his family in the 70s. He grew up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. After a scrape with the law as a gang member, he went on to become a highly decorated police detective. Dubbed a ‘pioneer cyber cop’ by the Washington Times newspaper, Sergio created one of this country’s first Internet Crimes taskforces. He is now a consultant, screenwriter and serial entrepreneur in the process of creating two startups. “TradeMarket Adventures” is his “live like a spy” experience that trains people in certain life skills that NOCs (Non-Official Cover) government operatives/spies are trained in. 

In this podcast episode our guest Sergio Kopelev, tells about his family journey from Soviet Russia in the 1970s. To living with eight family members in a one-bedroom apartment in a gang-ridden neighborhood in Brooklyn. His teenage scrape with the law as a gang member himself, his introduction to the NYC police department and subsequent career in law enforcement, and the impetus behind the creation of his “live like a spy” experience, Trade Market Adventures.

Authentic, inspirational and relatable discussions with inspirational business leaders, gaining insight into what inspires them and how they got to where they are today. These conversations offer actionable tips for listeners to create their own path to success and shatter whatever glass ceilings arise and overcome any obstacles on their personal journey. Jeanniey Walden, Founder of Liftoff Enterprises, is the award-winning marketing, business & workplace expert. Host of the TV show “LiftOff with Jeanniey Walden.” Jeanniey dives into compelling conversations with incredible experts of all backgrounds to understand what makes them tick. And expose how you, the viewer can learn from these experiences and start to “LiftOff.”

Discussion points:

  • Sergio is a first-generation refugee, born in Russia, to a family of highly successful Jewish political dissidents
  • Eight family members lived in a one-bedroom in Brooklyn
  • The success of his parents and grandparents helped Sergio know “what success looks like” 
  • After joining a gang for protection, a scrape with the law led to a career in law enforcement
  • Mentors in Sergio’s government careers
  • Startup Tradecraft Adventures – live as a spy for four days – learn skills that can help you in everyday life and work
  • Putting kindness out into the world may not always be rewarded, but it makes your life better

Jeanniey Walden is a business expert, author, keynote speaker, award-winning marketing leader, and the host of the nationally broadcasted TV show and podcast LiftOff with Jeanniey Walden. Jeanniey was recently chosen to receive the Empowered Woman of the Year Award for 2023, given by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP). Her exemplary role as a female professional and inclusive leader displays her influence, capability, and proficiency.

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