AyAMi Founders

Mateusz Cieslak – AyAMi’s Founder discovered his passion for numbers and pursued an earlier career in finance. He has over a decade of experience in commercial and investment banking at Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, John Hancock, and ING Bank. He has worked and lived in New York City, Houston, Boston, London (England), Warsaw (Poland), Vienna (Austria), and Tokyo (Japan). During his time on Wall Street, he has collaborated with executives and founders in various industries, and originated, underwrote, and serviced debt transactions ranging in value from $75MM to $500MM.

Mateusz has had a passion for real estate since a very young age. As a 10 year old child, he liked to design homes, draw floor plans, interiors and wanted to follow in his father footsteps and become an architect.   Now following his passion, Mateusz is eager and excited to leverage his business experience and skills to bring a new industry model and a real positive change to residential real estate markets in suburban and rural areas in the United States, with the initial focus on Shoreline and Central Connecticut.

Mateusz received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Degree from Northeastern University with concentrations in Management and Finance. He lives in Madison, CT together with his wife, Aya and their 7 year old daughter and 4 year old son. Mateusz is the Vice Chairman of Madison’s Ethics Commission, Chairman of the Investment Committee at the Country School, and SAT Tutor coordinator at Clinton Study Hall. In his free time, he enjoys sailing, swimming, kayaking, biking, skiing, taking his family to the beach, volunteering and fundraising for charities.



Aya Cieslak-Tochigi – AyAMi’s Broker/Owner is an actively practicing litigation attorney. Aya is excited to bring a real positive change to the residential real estate industry, to her community, and into the lives of all home buyers. As an attorney, she regularly represents clients in federal courts and works closely with clients spanning from start-up businesses to multinational corporations in a variety of industries, such as fashion, food and beverages, art, technology, life sciences, and financial services. Aya has worked in New York and Boston at one of the oldest law firms in the United States and in Tokyo, Japan at two global law firms headquartered in New York. Her work has been publicized in the New York Law Journal, she is a recognized speaker at conferences in Tokyo, Japan, and Examination Board Member of the Association of Intellectual Property Education in Japan.


In addition, Aya has an active pro bono practice, assisting charitable organizations with their legal needs. Aya has received her Juris Doctor (JD) Degree, cum laude from Seton Hall University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in Paralegal Studies Degree from Suffolk University. She lives in Madison, CT together with her husband, Mateusz and their 7 and 4 year old daughter and son. Aya spends her free time with the family, kayaking, biking, skiing, at the beach, and fundraising for charities.

AyAMi Advisors


R. Andrew Richards is a partner at an East Coast law firm, with almost three decades of experience as a practicing attorney. He delivers strategic business solutions and advises public and private businesses on key high-stakes corporate transactions. Working alongside each client as a trusted advisor, he has executed various forms of commercial lending, mergers and acquisitions, and general commercial matters.

Andy contributes to the global legal community as a member of the International Bar Association, helping to develop international law reform and shape the legal profession on a global scale. He regularly advises multinational companies on cross-border transactions.

Andy has lived and worked in the central African nation of Cameroon, where he was an advisor to the country’s emerging banking system. Drawing on that experience, he now represents major financial institution with its impact investment portfolio, including equity investments in social impact private equity funds, as well as the client’s involvement with one of the first microfinance investment funds.

Andy presents and writes articles on trending legal and financial issues and is active in many community and nonprofit organizations. He is an accomplished scuba diver and has traveled far and wide to see some of the world’s best marine ecosystems. Andy is also fluent in French and enjoys flying his Piper Archer aircraft.

Andy received his Juris Doctor (JD) Degree from Fordham University School of Law, Master of Science Degree from New York University, Master of Arts Degree from St. Joseph’s Seminary, and Bachelor of Arts Degree from College of the Holy Cross. He is admitted as an attorney in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and District of Columbia.



Manuel Anaya is a Vice President and Corporate Finance Advisor at Bessemer Trust. He is responsible for providing corporate finance and M&A advisory services to clients and prospects that own or control family businesses. He also advises clients on investment and strategic business opportunities, and provides oversight of family businesses held in trust.

Prior to joining Bessemer, he worked in a corporate finance and strategic capacity with portfolio companies of private equity firms within the consumer and retail sector. His experience also encompasses tech and family enterprises in South America. Representative engagements include Adtech company Telaria (now part of Magnite), FB Brands, and The Jones Group. Before that, he held positions at international financial institutions Rabobank and Santander Bank, where he facilitated transactions across a broad range of industries.

Manuel earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Northeastern University. He enjoys skiing, engaging in outdoor activities, hosting family dinners, and exploring new cultures.  



Michael Gavin is a Director at S&P Global and has over 15 years of financial services experience. In his current role, he focuses on helping both sponsors and portfolio companies 

achieve capital markets goals. Michael manages a team responsible for all new rating engagements and he has worked with sponsors of all sizes and companies across various industries.

Previously he managed Business Development across the West Coast, Rocky Mountain and Midwest regions, while also covering oil and gas firms nationwide. This role had Michael working with CFOs across the Western US as he successfully increased market share for S&P's core business. He was responsible for increasing ratings coverage across the Corporate and Financial Institutions sectors.  Prior to S&P, Michael worked in New York City at Morgan Stanley for 7 years where he implemented the middle office function between debt capital markets and operations.

Michael serves as Treasurer for the Economic Club of Colorado as well as on the Development Board for National Jewish Hospital.  Michael is a graduate of Syracuse University and he studied Finance and International Business at City University of Hong Kong.

In his free time, Mike enjoys golfing, fishing, camping and spending time with his family in Denver, Colorado.



Mark McCann is an accomplished technology leader with a proven track record of delivering efficient solutions to business challenges. Mark currently serves as Chief Development Officer at Templum, Inc., an alternative investments facilitator. He has spent most of his 30-year career in the fintech arena in Asia, Europe, and the US. His industry experience spans global financial institutions, software houses, and start-up organizations. He has extensive experience at the intersection of people and products. He has successfully managed global teams while interfacing with exceptionally demanding clients and solving complex problems for them. Mark enjoys developing new ideas and devising feasible solutions to relevant issues.

When he isn't spending time with his lovely wife and two daughters in Greenwich, CT, Mark enjoys cycling the back roads, ripping the powder on his vintage snowboard, and fly fishing on the rivers of Yellowstone, Wyoming.



 Alexander Collins is an IT veteran with over 25 years of industry experience serving at companies ranging from small venture capital startups to Vice President positions at Citibank and J.P. Morgan. His job functions have spanned all aspects of software engineering including that of developer, account manager, project manager, product manager, engineer as well as hands-on managerial roles in QA, IT Operations, and software development. In the last decade, Alexander’s emphasis has been on cyber-security where his many activities have included leading privileged access engineering & software development teams as well as architecting and driving the rollout of alternative authentication technologies across Citibank’s Treasury and Trade Services organization, which was servicing over a half a million corporate users at 78,000 client companies across the globe.

Alexander’s zeal for technology started at a very young age. As early as elementary school, he was building electronics from schematic diagrams, solving circuit equations, and even repairing his parents’ TVs and other appliances, eventually, moving on to receive electrical engineering and physics degrees from Boston University. After graduation, Alexander served in the U.S. Navy as an officer & nuclear engineer, all the while attending George Mason Law School at night, before eventually heading off to the University of Michigan to earn MBA and MS degrees.

Alexander is currently a community advocate, speaking on and assisting with city planning and zoning. Past volunteer work has included performing SSI disability and other legal work for Legal Services of Southeastern Michigan as well as serving in various capacities as a White House volunteer. He is a licensed CPA, attorney, and professional engineer. In his free time, Alexander enjoys running, spending time with his wife and two young kids, as well as creating and using games & graphics as a teaching tool.



Matthew Spinozzi is a creative bio-scientist & process engineer specializing in beverage and supplements start-ups.  As a consultant, he has helped to ideate, develop and launch numerous novel brands, products, and processes. He is also the founder and owner of FuncBot (fka Functional Botanical Company), which specializes in development, manufacturing, distribution, & sales of bioactive beverages and botanical supplements.

Additionally, Matt works with indigenous communities in rural Mexico to create sustainable value-add processes for their under-utilized agricultural products through his knowledge of ethnobotany, fermentation, and engineering. He is an expert in the medicinal plants of Southern Mexico, Western Europe, and the Mid-Atlantic region.